Brewers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 30, 2012

Brewers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 30, 2012

Brewers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 30, 2012
MILWAUKEE -- All the Brewers need is a few more days like Saturday to pull off their push to the postseason.

With a win over the Astros and a Cardinals' extra-inning loss to the Nationals, the Brewers moved to four games back of St. Louis with four to play, the Dodgers still sticking around and the National League's second Wild Card still up for grabs. Considering the crowded field and the oh-so-slim margin, Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke was well aware of the challenge.

"We have to get a ton of help," he said. "It doesn't look real good."

The Brewers will have rookie Mike Fiers on the mound Sunday trying to finish strong in the regular season. He has been struggling since the middle of August at the same time he pushes into uncharted innings.

The Nationals-Cardinals game is scheduled to begin about five minutes after Fiers throws his first pitch, so it could be another day of scoreboard watching at Miller Park.

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

Astros (Lyles, 4-12) at Brewers (Fiers, 9-9), 1:10 p.m. Preview >

Nationals (Detwiler, 10-7) at Cardinals (Lynn, 17-7), 1:15 p.m. Preview >

If the postseason started today ...

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Wild Card: Second Wild Card at First Wild Card
Division Series: Second-best AL record vs. Third-best AL record | Best AL record at Wild Card winner

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Wild Card: Second Wild Card at First Wild Card
Division Series: Second-best NL record vs. Third-best NL record | Best NL record at Wild Card winner

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

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.