June 5, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum (55) pitches during the fourth inning against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Preview: Tim Lincecum vs. Edinson Volquez

The rubbermatch of the series will mark the Padres and Giants last meeting of the year. The Giants currently lead the season series with an 11-6 record and vice versa for San Diego. In preparation from the playoffs, the Giants will send Tim Lincecum to the mound to counter Edinson Volquez of the Padres.

First pitch: 1:05PT, 4:05ET. 

Tim Lincecum (10-15, 5.15 ERA):Lincecum was lit up by Arizona in his last start, allowing seven runs in just four innings pitched. His ERA soared from 4.91 before the game, to 5.15 after. But more importantly, today’s outing will presumably determine whether or not Lincecum will get a start in the postseason which is scheduled to begin in less than a week.

While he has obviously improved since the All-Star break, the two-time Cy Young award winner has yet to secure a rotation spot. Plus, he isn’t the only one competing for a position. The two other contenders for the job in Ryan Vogelsong and Barry Zito, are making strong cases to surpass Lincecum. Vogelsong pitched well on Friday night, and Zito continues to find ways to get out of jams, so yes, Lincecum could be the odd man out if he struggles against the Padres. It’s in his hands though. And don’t forget that over the past five years, he’s 9-4 against San Diego with a 1.96 ERA.

Edinson Volquez (11-11, 4.13 ERA): Statistically, Volquez will wrap up one of his better seasons as a pro today, as his 4.13 ERA is the second lowest in eight years at the major league level. However, his ERA has two different sides. The first one is the 3.60 ERA he posted in the first half. And the other being the 5.60 ERA he has posted thus far in the second half. With that said, he shutdown the Dodgers over seven innings on Tuesday despite his second half woes. In one start against the Giants this year, he yielded them to just two runs over seven innings, but didn’t factor in the decision.

Giants’ Hitters Against Volquez (Lifetime): The Giants have struggled as a group against Volquez hitting just .206 off him…Pablo Sandoval has three hits in five at-bats against Volquez…Hunter Pence is 3-22 against him…Ryan Theriot is 4-10 off him…

Padres’ Hitters Against Lincecum (Lifetime): As a group the Padres.239 off Lincecum… Jesus Guzman is 5-11 with one home run off Lincecum… Chase Headley is 9-32 with two home runs… Carlos Quentin is 3-7 with one home run….Will Venable is 9-34

Tags: Barry Zito Ryan Vogelsong San Francisco Giants Tim Lincecum

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