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Road to the Pennant: Top 10 Must-Do's for National League Playoff Teams

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Road to the Pennant: Top 10 Must-Do's for National League Playoff Teams
The Reds celebrate after winning a division title for the first time in 15 years

A 162-game season came down to the last game.

The Phillies and Reds clinched their divisions early on, but the NL West and Wild Card spots came down to the wire. In the regular season's final game, the Braves, Padres, and Giants fought it out on the field and engaged in intense scoreboard watching off it.

But the hypothetical three-way tie didn't materialize as the Braves managed to squeeze by the Phillies in an 8-7 victory, and the Giants took care of business in San Francisco shutting out the Padres, 3-0.

A 162-game season is always fraught with drastic ups and downs, season-ending injuries, breakout years, nine-game losing streaks (Braves), 11-game winning streaks (Phillies), the lowest team ERA over the course of a month in over forty years (Giants), and 45 come-from-behind victories (Reds).

But at the end of the day, it all comes down to six to twelve games in October. Who will rise to the occasion? Who will choke under pressure? What will be the crucial factors for these teams if they want a shot at being the 2010 World Champions?

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