By Declan Finn
The New York Mets completed a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies Wednesday night, but weren't able to make up any ground in the race for the second wild card. The Pirates, Braves and Brewers all won games Wednesday to keep their leads over the Mets. The only team in the hunt to lose was the Marlins, who were beaten by Milwaukee.
The Pirates lead the final playoff spot by 1.5 games over both the Braves and Brewers, 4.5 games over the Marlins and 5.5 games against the Mets.
Here is a closer look at those in the wild card hunt and what needs to happen today for the Mets to make up ground.
Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates finish off a four-game series with the Phillies Thursday, having won two of the first three games. AJ Burnett pitches against his old team for the Phillies, while the Pirates counter with Francisco Lirano. The Pirates will be in first place no matter what happens tonight. Pittsburgh has 17 games to play.
Atlanta Braves: The Braves are off Thursday, so they could gain or lose a half-game without taking the field. The Braves have 16 games to go.
Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers broke a four-game losing streak with a victory over Miami Wednesday. Those two teams finish off a four-game series tonight. Milwaukee has 16 games left.
Miami Marlins: The Marlins had their three-game win streak snapped by the Brewers and were the only one of the wild card contenders to lose a game in the standings. Miami finishes off a four-game series with the Brewers tonight. The Marlins have 18 games left to play.
New York Mets: The Mets keep on winning series, sweeping three games from the Rockies for their fourth straight series win Wednesday. The Mets begin a four-game set with the Washington Nationals tonight, a team that has won 10 of 12 games in the series so far. The Mets have to take care of their own business first, then pull for the Phillies and Marlins tonight. If the Mets, Phillies and Marlins win, the Mets will be 4.5 back of the Pirates, 3.5 back of the Braves, three back of the Brewers and one game behind the Marlins with 16 to go. Tonight is huge for the Mets playoff hopes.