Brewers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 15, 2012

Brewers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 15, 2012

Brewers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 15, 2012
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers took a rare stumble on Friday, when Mike Fiers' early mound struggles and a series of defensive misplays in the sixth inning contributed to a 7-3 loss to the Mets and the end of Milwaukee's nine-game home winning streak.

A 10th consecutive victory on home turf would have tied a 33-year-old franchise record and pushed the Brewers ahead of the free-falling Pirates in the race for the second National League Wild Card spot. Instead, the Brewers slipped a half-game behind the charging Phillies while also remaining a half-game behind the Pirates. Milwaukee is 2 1/2 games behind Los Angeles and 3 1/2 games behind St. Louis, which holds the second Wild Card spot.

"We haven't played this type of game in a while," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, whose club had not lost at home since Aug. 19. "I know it's going to happen once in a while, but we certainly need to bounce back [Saturday] and play a lot better."

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

Pirates (Rodriguez, 3-4) at Cubs (Berken, 0-0), 1:05 p.m. Preview >

Nationals (Jackson, 9-10) at Braves (Hanson, 12-8), 4:05 p.m. Preview >

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

Reds (Cueto, 17-8) at Marlins (Buehrle, 12-12), 7:10 p.m. Preview >

Mets (Mejia, 0-0) at Brewers (Marcum, 5-4), 7:10 p.m. Preview >

Giants (Zito, 11-8) at D-backs (Miley, 15-9), 8:10 p.m. Preview >

Cardinals (Garcia, 4-7) at Dodgers (Blanton, 1-4), 10:10 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

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.