Where NL wild-card race stands after Giants, D-backs lose

Where NL wild-card race stands after Giants, D-backs lose originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

The National League wild-card race has no plans of cooling down any time soon.

The Giants, who lost three straight games to the San Diego Padres this weekend, are tied for the third and final NL wild-card spot with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Miami Marlins and Cincinnati Reds.

The Giants, Diamondbacks and Marlins all are 70-67 and have 25 games remaining on their schedules. The Reds have played two more games than those three but have the same winning percentage (.511) at 71-68.

Sitting comfortably above those four teams are the Philadelphia Phillies (75-61), who have a 2.5-game lead over the Chicago Cubs (73-64) for the top spot. There's also a three-game gap between the Cubs and the cluster of teams battling for the final spot.

It just so happens the Giants visit Wrigley Field on Monday to begin a three-game series against the Cubs.

"It’s anybody’s spot," Giants pitcher Alex Cobb said Sunday after a 4-0 loss to the Padres. "… We’re happy with any of those wild-card spots. We just want to get in, get our foot in the door and be hot when we go in there."

The Giants had an opportunity to put the Padres away for good this weekend, especially after winning the series opener 7-2 on Thursday night, but instead they lost the final three games of the series.

The Padres lurk in the wild-card standings 5.5 games behind the Giants. It's still highly improbable San Diego goes on a September run to steal a playoff spot -- especially considering it hasn't won more than three straight games all season -- but you can't count out the star power of Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis, Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts.

“That’s one of the best lineups in baseball, regardless of where they’re at in the standings,” Cobb said.

San Francisco still controls its own destiny. After three games in the Windy City, the Giants will face a division rival in six of their final seven series, including two pivotal games against the Diamondbacks on Sept. 19-20.

It's anyone's race at this point. That's what September baseball is all about.

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