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D-backs' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 20, 2012

D-backs' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 20, 2012

D-backs' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 20, 2012 play video for D-backs' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 20, 2012
PHOENIX -- Even though the D-backs won their third consecutive game on Wednesday, beating the Padres, 6-2, at Chase Field, Arizona was unable to gain ground in the National League Wild Card hunt.

The D-backs remain 4 1/2 games behind the Cardinals, who beat the Astros, 5-0, for the second Wild Card berth with 14 games left to play.

If Arizona hopes to make its second straight postseason appearance, it will have to leapfrog the Cardinals, Dodgers, Brewers and Phillies. The D-backs (74-74) are also tied with the Pirates.

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With Wednesday's victory, the D-backs moved back to .500 for the first time since Aug. 26, when they were 64-64. The D-backs have held an even record 21 times this season, the most in the Major Leagues.

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

Astros (Norris, 5-12) at Cardinals (Garcia, 4-7), 10:45 a.m. Preview >

Padres (Richard, 13-12) at D-backs (Skaggs, 1-2), 12:40 p.m. Preview >

Brewers (Fiers, 9-8) at Pirates (Rodriguez, 11-13), 4:05 p.m. Preview >

Dodgers (Capuano, 11-10) at Nationals (Detwiler, 9-6), 4:05 p.m. Preview >

Phillies (Cloyd, 1-1) at Mets (Hefner, 2-6), 4:10 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.

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{"content":["path_to_the_postseason" ] }
{"content":["path_to_the_postseason" ] }