"Every time you can get in the same sentences with guys like that, it's really cool," Medlen said. "I try not to get too ahead of myself. I try to focus on the goal at hand, which is trying to make the playoffs. Every five days I'm going to try to go out and do my thing, and if that leads to more wins, then it does."
The Braves also moved to within five games of the Nats in the National League East race thanks to the split in the twin bill. Atlanta has 12 games remaining on its schedule after Thursday's off-day, and the Braves maintain a 6 1/2-game lead for the top NL Wild Card spot after the Cardinals also won Wednesday.
Thursday's key games to watch (all times ET)
Astros (Norris, 5-12) at Cardinals (Garcia, 4-7), 1:45 p.m. Preview >
Dodgers (Capuano, 11-10) at Nationals (Detwiler, 9-6), 7:05 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.
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