CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

{"content":["path_to_the_postseason" ] }

Braves' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 26, 2012

Braves' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 26, 2012

Braves' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 26, 2012 play video for Braves' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 26, 2012
ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman's walk-off, two-run home run Tuesday night gave the Braves a 4-3 victory over the Marlins and clinched Atlanta's spot in the postseason. But their dramatic win combined with the Nationals loss Tuesday means Atlanta trails Washington by just four games in the National League East with eight to play. It is the closest the Braves have been to first place since Aug. 28.

The Braves are happy they have secured a postseason berth, especially after last season's disappointment, but they also aren't ready to count out the possibility they can chase down the Nationals for the division title and avoid the NL Wild Card game.

"We're not going to stop," closer Craig Kimbrel said. "We're in the postseason, but we feel like we still have a chance to catch the Nationals. They've got a tough schedule and we just keep going on and wining day in and day out and we'll see where we are at the end of the season."

More

The Braves also lowered their magic number for clinching home field in the NL Wild Card game to three. They lead the Cardinals by 5 1/2 games for the first NL Wild Card spot.

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

Dodgers (Harang, 9-10) at Padres (Richard, 14-12), 6:35 p.m. Preview >

Nationals (Lannan, 3-0) at Phillies (Kendrick, 10-11), 7:05 p.m. Preview >

Marlins (Johnson, 8-13) at Braves (Maholm, 12-10), 7:05 p.m. Preview >

Brewers (Marcum, 5-4) at Reds (Arroyo, 12-8), 7:10 p.m. Preview >

Pirates (Locke, 0-2) at Mets (Hefner, 2-7), 7:10 p.m. Preview >

Cardinals (Carpenter, 0-0) at Astros (Norris, 5-13), 8:05 p.m. Preview >

D-backs (Miley, 16-10) at Giants (Cain, 15-5), 10:15 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

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

Less
{"content":["path_to_the_postseason" ] }
{"content":["path_to_the_postseason" ] }