With our friends at Citizens Bank Park frantically waving white towels, the Atlanta Braves surrendered a 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, reducing the Braves’ tenuous Wild Card lead over the New York Mets to a paltry 11½ games — 11 in the loss column. The Mets have 12 games remaining, Atlanta 11.
For the Mets to storm from behind and win the National League Wild Card, the following needs to occur:
• The Mets (74-76) must go 12-0.
• The Braves (86-75) must go 0-11.
• The Marlins (74-75) must go 3-0 against the Braves, 0-2 against the Mets; their other games are immaterial.
• The Reds (85-66) must go 3-0 against the Padres; their other games are immaterial.
• The Cardinals (77-72) must go at least 3-1 against the Rockies, no better than 5-4 against everybody else.
• The Rockies (82-67) must go 0-3 against the Giants, no better than 1-3 against the Cardinals, no better than 2-4 against everybody else.
• The Padres (83-66) must go 0-3 against the Giants, 0-3 against the Reds, no better than 2-5 against everybody else.
• The Giants (84-66) must go 3-0 against the Rockies, 3-0 against the Padres; their other games are immaterial.
Under this scenario, the Phillies, the Reds and the Giants will capture their respective division titles. The Mets and Braves will finish tied for the Wild Card at 86-76, necessitating a one-game playoff.
And the Mets will have to win that game to win the Wild Card at 87-76.