September 28, 2008
If you're in Milwaukee, strike up a polka and start grilling those brats: After a 3-1 win over the Cubs on Sunday, your Brewers are in the playoffs for the first time since 1982.
If you're in New York, break out the Kleenex and start locating a Shea Stadium wrecking ball: After a 4-2 loss to the Marlins, your Mets have missed out on the playoffs on the season's final day — and for the second season in a row, no less.
With the two teams tied coming into the day and a National League wild card berth at stake, baseball again showed why its pennant races can provide the best kind of drama. Within mere moments, the hopes of the crowd at Shea Stadium, which will now be closed and demolished, fell in the gutter when its bullpen allowed back-to-back homers to Wes Helms and Dan Uggla in the top of the eighth inning, two shots that proved to be decisive.
Then, literally moments later, Ryan Braun sent Milwaukee's Miller Park into a frenzy, launching a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth that broke a 1-1 tie and put the Brewers ahead for good. Braun joined CC Sabathia (9 IP, 4H, 0 ER, 7K) as the heroes of the day in Wisconsin.
For its first playoff games since the 1982 American League championship game, Milwaukee will head to Philadelphia on Wednesday to face the NL East-champion Phillies.
The Mets, meanwhile, can only head home — again.