D-backs' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 15, 2012

D-backs' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 15, 2012

D-backs' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 15, 2012
PHOENIX -- Even though the D-backs fell, 6-2, to the Giants on Friday, the club remained 4 1/2 games back of the second National League Wild Card spot thanks to a Cardinals defeat.

St. Louis lost for the seventh time in its last nine games as the Dodgers won, 8-5, in Los Angeles.

The D-backs pounded out nine hits and walked seven times Friday, but left 15 runners on base.

"You can take some positives out of it but right now we need more than that," D-backs third baseman Chris Johnson said.

With 18 games remaining in the regular season, Arizona still needs to jump five teams in order to claim a position in the playoffs.

The Cardinals, Dodgers, Pirates, Phillies and Brewers all boast better records than the D-backs.

NL Rookie of the Year candidate Wade Miley will take the mound Saturday hoping to get Arizona back on track, taking on the Giants and Barry Zito.

Saturday's key games to watch (all times MST)

Pirates (Rodriguez, 10-13) at Cubs (Berken, 0-0), 10:05 a.m. Preview >

Phillies (Kendrick, 9-10) at Astros (Keuchel, 1-7), 4:05 p.m. Preview >

Mets (Mejia, 0-0) at Brewers (Marcum, 5-4), 4:10 p.m. Preview >

Cardinals (Garcia, 4-7) at Dodgers (Blanton, 9-13), 6:10 p.m. Preview >

If the postseason started today ...

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Wild Card: Second Wild Card at First Wild Card
Division Series: Second-best AL record vs. Third-best AL record | Best AL record at Wild Card winner

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Wild Card: Second Wild Card at First Wild Card
Division Series: Second-best NL record vs. Third-best NL record | Best NL record at Wild Card winner

Postseason Bracket »

Postseason 101

Magic numbers
To calculate a team's magic number, take the number of games it has remaining and add one. Then subtract the difference in the number of losses between that team and its closest pursuer.

Tiebreaker scenarios
A tiebreaker game will be played to determine a division winner, even if the tied clubs are assured of participating in the postseason. If a division championship tiebreaker is necessary, the head-to-head record between the clubs will determine home-field advantage. If the head-to-head record is tied, then the division record will be the next tiebreaker.

If two clubs are tied for the two Wild Card berths, home-field advantage will be determined by the head-to-head record between the clubs. If the head-to-head record is tied, then the division record will be the next tiebreaker.

Tiebreaker rules »

2012 postseason schedule
Wild Card playoff games: Oct. 5
Division Series: Oct. 6-12
AL Championship Series: Oct. 13-21
NL Championship Series: Oct. 14-22
World Series: Oct. 24-Nov. 1

Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.