Phillies' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 23, 2012

Phillies' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 23, 2012

PHILADELPHIA -- As they head toward the finish line, the Phillies' chances for a sixth consecutive postseason berth are very slim.

After their 8-2 loss to the Braves on Saturday, they trail the St. Louis Cardinals by four games for the National League's second Wild Card. The Milwaukee Brewers remain 1 1/2 games ahead of the Phillies, and the Los Angeles Dodgers lead them by a game.

If Philadelphia was to win each of its final 10 games, St. Louis would need to go only 6-4 to tie. The Phillies play the Braves one more time, the Nationals six times and the Marlins three times.

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

Braves (Hudson, 15-6) at Phillies (Lee, 6-7), 1:35 p.m. Preview >

Brewers (Gallardo, 16-8) at Nationals (Wang, 2-3), 1:35 p.m. Preview >

Cardinals (Lohse, 15-3) at Cubs (Germano, 2-8), 2:20 p.m. Preview >

Dodgers (Harang, 9-10) at Reds (Bailey, 12-9), 8:05 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

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