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D-backs' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 28, 2012

D-backs' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 28, 2012

D-backs' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 28, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO -- The D-backs' path to the postseason has narrowed to a sliver.

After Thursday's loss to the Giants at AT&T Park, the D-backs are six games behind the Cardinals for the final National League Wild Card spot and they have just six games remaining. That means if the D-backs win the rest of their games and the Cardinals lose all of theirs, it would force a one-game playoff between the two teams.

Of course, there's also the matter of the Phillies, Brewers and Dodgers, who are all either tied or ahead of the D-backs at this point.

The D-backs return to Chase Field on Friday for a three-game set with the Cubs that will be followed with a season-ending three-game series with the Rockies.

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

Phillies (Lee, 6-8) at Marlins (Buehrle, 13-13), 4:10 p.m. Preview >

Astros (Gonzalez, 2-1) at Brewers (Gallardo, 16-8), 5:10 p.m. Preview >

Nationals (Jackson, 9-10) at Cardinals (Wainwright, 13-12), 5:15 p.m. Preview >

Rockies (Francis, 5-6) at Dodgers (Kershaw, 12-9), 7:10 p.m. Preview >

If the postseason started today ...

This is how the teams would match up: 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

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"content":["path_to_the_postseason" ] }