The Dodgers got exactly what they needed on Wednesday: a win over the Padres coupled with a Cardinals loss. They moved back to within 3½ games of St. Louis, which is still daunting with seven games to play, but much better than the alternative of 4½ or 5½ games back.
The Dodgers now need 10 of 13 outcomes to go their way just to force a tie with St. Louis, and that is without considering the performance of the Brewers. Here are the standings:
|National League Wild Card Standings|
Dodgers Magic Number: 11
Dodgers Tragic Number: 4
Here is a recap of the relevant Wednesday's game action:
Dodgers 8, Padres 2: Matt Kemp had four hits, including a home run, and Nick Punto scored four runs, leading Los Angeles to a win despite having four starters out of the lineup.
Astros 2, Cardinals 0: Jose Altuve homered, and Bud Norris pitched scoreless ball into the eighth inning, salvaging a single game for Houston against St. Louis.
Brewers 8, Reds 1: Norichika Aoki had a home runs and two doubles, and Matt Lucroy homered, doubled, and singled, leading Milwaukee to an easy win over Cincinnati.
Giants 6, Diamondbacks 0: Matt Cain not only threw seven shutout innings, but he also had two hits, and RBI, and scored a run. With the loss, Arizona's elimination number is two.
Nationals 8, Phillies 4: In a game that saw four home runs, Washington hit three of them, dropping Philadelphia's elimination number to two.
The earliest the Dodgers or Brewers could be eliminated is Saturday.
Here is Thursday's schedule:
- 9:35 a.m. - Milwaukee (Wily Peralta) at Cincinnati (Mat Latos)
- 12:45 p.m. - Arizona (Patrick Corbin) at San Francisco (Barry Zito)
- 4:05 p.m. - Washington (Gio Gonzalez) at Philadelphia (Tyler Cloyd)
- 7:05 p.m. - Los Angeles (Chris Capuano) at San Diego (Casey Kelly)
- St. Louis: off