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Phillies' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 22, 2012

Phillies' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 22, 2012

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Phillies' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 22, 2012
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies are keeping things interesting.

They beat the Braves on Friday, 6-2, to move within three games of the St. Louis Cardinals for the second National League Wild Card with 11 games to play.

That deficit on its own is a tall task, considering if the Phillies finish 8-3 they would need the Cardinals to finish no better than 5-6 to tie. But the Brewers and Dodgers also won Friday. They separate the Cardinals and Phillies in the standings, so the Phillies aren't getting much help from anybody above them in the standings.

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

Braves (Minor, 9-10) at Phillies (Halladay, 10-7), 4:05 p.m. Preview >

Cardinals (Wainwright, 13-13) at Cubs (Wood, 6-12), 1:05 p.m. Preview >

Brewers (Peralta, 2-0) at Nationals (Gonzalez, 19-8), 1:05 p.m. Preview >

Dodgers (Fife, 0-1) at Reds (Latos, 12-4), 4:05 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

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"content":["path_to_the_postseason" ] }
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