Pandemic playoffs: Brewers, Astros in despite losing records

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Members of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrate after defeating the Milwaukee Brewers in a baseball game to earn a playoff birth Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Christian Yelich and the Milwaukee Brewers got off to a ragged start this year. They never got above .500. And they dropped their last game to finish with a losing record.

Guess what? They’re going to the playoffs.

“Weird. I guess that’s the only way to describe it. It’s fitting for 2020,” Yelich said Sunday.

A pandemic-altered, 60-game regular season that many believed would never get completed and saw games postponed because of virus outbreaks, racial injustice protests and a hurricane went into the final day without a single playoff matchup set.

Then, in a flurry and fury, the entire, expanded 16-team postseason field was full.

Not a bad way to start, either: Gerrit Cole vs. Shane Bieber in a mega-watt duel as the New York Yankees face the Cleveland Indians in the best-of-three wild-card round Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the NL gets going. That’s when the Brewers, at 29-31, open their series against Los Angeles ace Walker Buehler at Dodger Stadium.

In a win-and-you’re-in game, St. Louis clinched by beating Milwaukee 5-2. But the Brewers also made it when San Francisco lost 5-4 to San Diego for the last wild-card spot.