D-backs' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 13, 2012

D-backs' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 13, 2012

D-backs' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 13, 2012
PHOENIX -- With a 3-2 win over the Dodgers on Wednesday night, the D-backs moved to within four games of the National League Wild Card with 19 games left to play.

The D-backs have Thursday off before playing host to the Giants and Padres for three games apiece.

"It's just a lot of fun right now," reliever David Hernandez said. "We're not ready for the offseason, we want to make it as tough as possible for whoever we face. We've just got to take it day by day. We're not going to make up four games in one day, but we just have to find a way to end this homestand on a positive note and maybe trim it a little more before we go on the road."

The D-backs took two of three from the Giants last week in San Francisco.

"It's getting better," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said of his team's standing in the playoff chase. "We need to keep running in the same direction. Things are getting interesting. We've got a very tough team coming in we know. We played well against them the last time we were at their place and it's going to have to be the same type of deal. There's a lot of teams involved. It's good, it's exciting and the energy should be good."

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

Phillies (Cloyd, 0-1) at Astros (Harrell, 10-9), 5:05 p.m. Preview >

Cardinals (Lynn, 14-7) at Dodgers (Beckett, 6-13) 7:10 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

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.