Reds' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 15, 2012

Reds' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 15, 2012

Reds' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 15, 2012
MIAMI -- The Reds had a brief hiccup Friday night on their path toward the National League Central title, being shut out for just the third time all season. Marlins rookie Jacob Turner pitched seven two-hit innings as Miami won, 4-0.

Cincinnati is 11 games ahead of the Cardinals, due to St. Louis' 8-5 loss to the Dodgers. The Reds' magic number to win the National League Central improved to seven. The Reds hold the largest division lead in the Majors.

Johnny Cueto takes the mound against the last-place Marlins hoping to rebound from consecutive rough outings and earn victory No. 18 on the season.

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

Cardinals (Garcia, 4-7) at Dodgers (Blanton, 9-13), 9:10 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

Christina De Nicola is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.