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NL playoffs: Giants win West, Braves take wild card, Padres out

Big League Stew

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Bad news for anyone hoping to see a chaotic three-way tie in the NL's playoff picture.

The Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants won their final regular-season games Sunday to settle the NL field. No tie-breakers on Monday or Tuesday. No games 163 and 164.

[Photos: More dramatic moments from the Giants game]

Though they valiantly won two of three in San Francisco over the weekend, the San Diego Padres messed it up for everybody on the season's final day.

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Because the Braves beat the Phillies 8-7 earlier in the day, a Padres win would have forced an NL West tiebreaker on Monday and a wild-card tiebreaker on Tuesday between Atlanta and Monday's loser.

The Giants, however, rendered the whole thing moot. They beat the Padres 3-0 at San Francisco's AT&T Park to stave off the sweep and capture their first NL West title since 2003.

Earlier in the day, the Tampa Bay Rays took the AL East title when the Red Sox defeated the Yankees.

The playoff picture looks like this: The Giants will host the Braves in the NLDS starting on Thursday; the Phillies and Reds meet starting Wednesday. In the American League, the Rays will host the Rangers while the Twins welcome the Yankees. Both series start on Wednesday.

Here's a complete playoff schedule.

Follow Big League Stew all through the postseason on Twitter (@bigleaguestew, @answerdave) and on Facebook.

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