Open Thread: Playoffs, Day 1 - St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves

Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Kicking off the 2012 playoff season will be the Cardinals vs. Braves, in a one-game, win-or-go-home playoff game to determine the Wild Card winner.

Hi everyone and welcome to the 2012 MLB Playoffs! Obviously, this is not the game you have been waiting for, but it's baseball, and we're covering it. The Cardinals/Braves play the first of the two Wild Card single-game playoffs to determine the Wild Card winners in each league. The Rangers/Orioles game will immediately follow this one, so look for a new thread about 5PM!

Here's your game preview:

Starting for Atlanta will be 26-year-old right-hander Kris Medlen. He didn't make his first start of the season until July 31, but from that point forward, he went 9-0 with a 0.97 ERA, allowing 57 hits in 83 2/3 innings while striking out 84.

It gets better: Atlanta has won 23 straight games started by Medlen, dating to 2010.

Starting for St. Louis will be Kyle Lohse, who went 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA during the regular season, quietly making a case for NL Cy Young candidacy. And the right-hander should have some extra motivation: On May 30, in his only start against Atlanta since 2010, Lohse gave up five earned runs on nine hits in five innings. It was one of his least effective outings of the season.

Here are the lineups:

LET'S GO um...OAK-LAND!

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