The Braves' magic number for clinching a playoff spot is one, so they can punch their postseason ticket with either a win tonight over the Marlins, or if the Dodgers and Brewers both lose their respective games this evening. Atlanta sits five games behind Washington for first place in the NL East, so barring a major collapse from the Nationals, the Braves will have to settle for a wild card, though they're on pace to earn homefield advantage in the wild card game.
Here's the latest from around the division…
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo wants Davey Johnson to return as the club's manager next season and said the two sides have had "initial discussions" about the subject, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson. "We both feel comfortable where we are at in that process," Rizzo said. "I said it before, Davey is part of the furniture as long as Mike Rizzo is general manager of the team. I definitely want him back for '13." Johnson is under contract only as a team consultant for 2013 and the veteran skipper recently said that he was satisfied with current talks and would address his position after the season.
- Marlins reliever Heath Bell spoke to reporters (including Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post) about his recent comments about manager Ozzie Guillen, saying his remarks were "totally taken out of context." Bell said he had to "earn the respect back of my teammates [and] my coaching staff" and that he wanted to keep pitching in Miami.
- Guillen, meanwhile, told reporters (as per Capozzi's Twitter account) that several Marlins players called and texted their support for him in the aftermath of Bell's comments.
- Though Domonic Brown and John Mayberry have played well for the Phillies down the stretch, there's no guarantee either will have a starting role in 2013, Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News.