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But this year was supposed to be different, if only because the Twins avoided their perennial nemesis, the Yankees. What’s more, the Twins came into the series with the second-best record in the American League, and also had the best home record in baseball, going 24-7 at Target Field without losing consecutive games at home all year.

Once again, it did them no good in the playoffs. They scored only two runs in the series, with no home runs, and just three hits in Game 2.

The Astros, meanwhile, advanced to another division series, where they will play either the Chicago White Sox or the Oakland Athletics. This year, they are playing the role of party crashers, whom no one wanted at the dance.

The Astros became pariahs after it was discovered that they used illegal means to steal signals from opposing teams in 2017. After an investigation and subsequent suspensions, they fired their manager, A.J. Hinch and Jeff Luhnow, the general manager. Dusty Baker took over in the dugout and after a slow start, guided the Astros to the postseason, the fifth team he has done that with.

A Marathon Day of Playoff Baseball

It is Day 2 of the 2020 Major League Baseball postseason, and it is a doozy: An orgiastic, 13-hour baseball-a-thon, with an unprecedented series of eight playoff games on a virtual conveyor belt of high-stakes action.

It starts at noon Eastern time in Atlanta, with the next five games scheduled to begin every hour until the Yankees play in Cleveland at 7 p.m. Eastern time, and it lasts until the final pitch is thrown in Los Angeles between the Dodgers and Brewers, probably around 1 a.m., and half of them will be elimination games.

“It’s going to be crazy,” said Chicago White Sox pitcher Dallas Keuchel, who will pitch in the third game of the day against the Athletics in Oakland. “It’s almost kind of like a jumbled mess.”

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