D-backs' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 25, 2012

D-backs' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 25, 2012

D-backs' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 25, 2012
DENVER -- The D-backs' uphill path to the postseason got a little steeper Monday when they dropped a 4-2 decision to the Rockies at Coors Field.

The D-backs loss combined with the Cardinals win over the Astros dropped the D-backs to 5 1/2 games behind the Redbirds for the final National League Wild Card spot.

Arizona has nine games remaining, including a three-game set with the Giants which opens Tuesday night at AT&T Park.

In addition to having to catch the Cardinals, the D-backs also must pass the Phillies, Dodgers and Brewers, a tall task considering they do not have any games remaining against those teams.

"We're going to try to win as many games as we can," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said after Monday's loss. "We've been in that mode for some time. It's disappointing when you lose. We understand what it means. We'll try to win every darn last game that we play."

Wells Fargo

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

Brewers (Fiers, 9-8) at Reds (Cueto, 18-9), 4:10 p.m. Preview >

Cardinals (Garcia, 5-7) at Astros (Harrell, 10-10), 5:05 p.m. Preview >

Dodgers (Beckett, 6-13) at Padres (Volquez, 10-11), 7:05 p.m. Preview >

D-backs (Collmenter, 4-3) at Giants (Lincecum, 10-14), 7:15 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.