ST. LOUIS – This is the first year of the expanded playoffs. Major League Baseball (MLB) allowed 12 teams, six from each league, to make the postseason.

Instead of the wild card series being one game, it’s now a three-game series. That’s all because of the new collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the MLB Players Association.

The Cardinals play the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday at Busch Stadium. Phillies’ right-handed pitcher Zack Wheeler allowed just 13 home runs all season long.

The Cardinals sent Jose Quintana to face four left-handed batters: Kyle Schwarber, Bryce Harper, Bryson Stott, and Brandon Mars. The left-handed pitcher allowed only one home run in 62 2/3 innings at Busch Stadium this season.

Albert Pujols hit his 703rd home run, trailing Babe Ruth at 714, Hank Aaron at 755, and Barry Bonds with 762. Pujols finished the regular season with 24 home runs, 68 RBIs, and a .270 batting average.

Fans were worn out by the end of the nine innings, but Friday’s game was a tradition for a few people.

“It’s a day date,” said Johnetta Thomas, with her husband Mario, sitting in Credit Union Plaza. “That’s what brought us out.”

“This is a father son tradition,” said Anthony Peniston with is dad Bill. “We haven’t been able to do this since 2006 when they won the World Series.”

“He was six months old when he came to his first,” Bill said.

“When you left me with Mom, so you could stick around for the World Series,” Anthony said to his father.

Game two is Saturday at Busch Stadium at 7:37 p.m. and on Sunday at the same time.