SAN FRANCISCO -- The D-backs' path to the postseason has narrowed to a sliver.
After Thursday's loss to the Giants at AT&T Park, the D-backs are six games behind the Cardinals for the final National League Wild Card spot and they have just six games remaining. That means if the D-backs win the rest of their games and the Cardinals lose all of theirs, it would force a one-game playoff between the two teams.
Of course, there's also the matter of the Phillies, Brewers and Dodgers, who are all either tied or ahead of the D-backs at this point.
The D-backs return to Chase Field on Friday for a three-game set with the Cubs that will be followed with a season-ending three-game series with the Rockies.
Friday's key games to watch (all times MST)
Phillies (Lee, 6-8) at Marlins (Buehrle, 13-13), 4:10 p.m. Preview >
Astros (Gonzalez, 2-1) at Brewers (Gallardo, 16-8), 5:10 p.m. Preview >
Nationals (Jackson, 9-10) at Cardinals (Wainwright, 13-12), 5:15 p.m. Preview >
Rockies (Francis, 5-6) at Dodgers (Kershaw, 12-9), 7:10 p.m. Preview >
If the postseason started today ...
This is how the teams would match up: Postseason Bracket »
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.
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.
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