Dodgers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 16, 2012

Dodgers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 16, 2012

Dodgers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 16, 2012
LOS ANGELES -- One strike away from falling two back of the Cardinals in the National League Wild Card race, the Dodgers mounted a ninth-inning rally that was capped off by a pinch-hit, walk-off RBI single by Juan Rivera.

With the win, the Dodgers moved into a tie with the Cardinals for the final Wild Card spot as one game remains in the season series, which the Dodgers clinched with Saturday's win.

Ace Clayton Kershaw was supposed to start the finale against Adam Wainwright, but he was scratched and he's out indefinitely with pain in his right hip. Rookie Stephen Fife gets the start in his place, and he will take the mound with a chance to help the Dodgers take control of the playoff spot after Saturday's walk-off.

"Pennant races are so much fun because you see things like this, not just in this city, but other cities," manager Don Mattingly said. "The guys give it everything they have. It might not look like it when they don't score, but they've been fighting for it all year."

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

Cardinals (Wainwright 13-13) at Dodgers (Fife, 0-1), 4:10 p.m. Preview >

Reds (Latos, 12-4) at Marlins (Nolasco, 12-12), 1:10 p.m. Preview>

Phillies (Halladay, 10-7) at Astros (Lyles, 4-11), 2:05 p.m. Preview >

Mets (Young, 4-7) at Brewers (Peralta, 1-0), 2:10 p.m. Preview >

Pirates (Locke, 0-1) at Cubs (Volstad, 3-10), 2:20 p.m. Preview >

Giants (Vogelsong, 12-8) at D-backs (Corbin, 5-7), 4:10 p.m. Preview >

Nationals (Gonzalez, 19-7) at Braves (Minor, 8-10), 8:05 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

Alex Angert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.