Things are getting Wild in the National League

Things are getting Wild in the National League

The race for the National League Wild Card remains as tight as ever thanks to big steps forward by the Cardinals and Giants and a step backward by the Mets on Saturday.

Here's how it all stacks up: The Mets and Giants are now tied, with identical 82-73 records, with the Cardinals hot on their heels with an 81-73 record that leaves them just a half-game out. New York and San Francisco each have seven regular-season games remaining; St. Louis has eight.

The Mets enjoyed a one-game Wild Card lead entering Saturday and were riding high after piecing together a 10-5 win over the Phillies the night before despite receiving just two innings from starter Gabriel Ynoa. Ten was the winning number again on Saturday in Queens, but this time the visiting Phillies prevailed, 10-8, following a frantic comeback effort from the never-say-die Mets. New York trailed, 10-0, at one point, but came all the way back to cut the lead to two runs and had the potential go-ahead run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth. But Lucas Duda popped out and Travis d'Arnaud grounded out to end the game, leaving the Mets one swing short of what could have been the largest comeback in franchise history.

Before the Mets faltered, the Cardinals stepped up against their biggest division rival. A combined seven RBIs from Randal Grichuk and Yadier Molina were plenty of offense for rookie starter Alex Reyes, who turned in five innings of three-run ball to help St. Louis topple the NL Central-champion Cubs, 10-4. St. Louis evened the season series with Chicago at nine games apiece, which makes the series finale on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball even bigger. The Cardinals are looking to gain any psychological advantage they can for a potential NL Division Series matchup with Chicago down the road.

Out west, the Dodgers cruised to a 14-1 win over the Rockies to place pressure on the Giants in San Diego. San Francisco needed a win to keep any hopes of at least a tie for the NL West title alive, and its fortunes were looking good after the offense staked ace Madison Bumgarner to a 6-0 lead after the first 3 1/2 innings. The Padres did not go down quietly, however, hitting three home runs off Bumgarner to come all the way back and send the game to extra innings with the score tied at 6. But in the top of the 10th, the Giants showed their late-season mettle, with an RBI single by Kelby Tomlinson and a two-run homer by Denard Span spurring them to a hard-fought 9-6 victory.

The Mets will be up first today as yet another of their unproven starters, Robert Gsellman, takes the mound for a 1:10 p.m. ET matinee against the Phillies. The Giants will follow at 4:40 p.m. as rookie Ty Blach makes his first Major League start, followed by the nationally televised Cardinals-Cubs showdown beginning at 8:08 p.m. at Wrigley Field.

For these three teams, every game until the end could be considered the biggest game of the season. All fans can do is sit back and enjoy the ride.

Click here for more information on potential tiebreaker scenarios.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.