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Game #124: Tim Lincecum vs Ubaldo Jimenez

  • Cliff Lee
  • Cole Hamels
  • Chris Carpenter
  • Adam Wainwright
  • Chad Billingsley/Clayton Kershaw
The question is will either the Rockies or Giants face a pitcher in the playoffs better than the pitcher they are going to face this afternoon. Given the options above, the answer is that it's not likely. Philadelphia (Lee) and St. Louis (Carpenter) have pitchers that are as good as Jimenez, but not appreciably better lately, while there's nobody really in Lincecum's class right now.

So the rest of this game thread will be assuming 1) that the Dodgers don't completely collapse and 2) that Atlanta and Florida come up just short in their bids to usurp the two NL West teams in front of them. Neither of those assumptions are locks, but if they prove true, today's contest will provide a quality test for both the Giants and Rockies of what they'll have to bring to overcome ace level pitching in a short playoff series. Lincecum and Jimenez would get at least two starts for their teams in an extended playoff series as would Carpenter, Lee and Billingsley, so to win in October, the Rockies and Giants will want to show they can win against October pitchers.

Jimenez is 5-0 with a 2.49 ERA since the All-Star break, he throws the hardest fastball in the majors and has finally started to show himself the ace and leader of the Rockies staff. Why am I not that worried about Aaron Cook going down? Ubaldo Jimenez. I really think a Jimenez, 2009 Jason Marquis and 2nd half Jorge De La Rosa rotation could work for a short series. Particularly if you can arrange it so Jason Hammel pitches in road games if you need a #4.

Meanwhile, Lincecum will likely win his second straight Cy Young award at the end of the season. To give you an idea of how special these two are, I'm ripping the following table off from Viva El Birdos showing that today's starting pitchers are just two of seven in the majors to have at least three pitches with a run value of +5 or greater:

wFB wSL wCt wCB wCh wSF
Carp 17.7 9.6 8.5
Lee 14.4 6.2 5.0
J. Johnson 14.4 10.0 6.0
Jimenez 12.9 8.5 6.0
Haren 11.4 19.4 7.6
Vazquez 6.2 14.5 9.7
Lincecum 5.6 5.1 31.2

So in short, this is a playoff ace matchup in August. My guess for the final score? Given how Coors Field looked last night, I'll go with Rockies 11, Giants 8.

Pulling out a win today puts the Giants in a fix, with Barry Zito trying to salvage the split tomorrow by throwing his curve ball a mile above sea level, but against Lincecum we'll definitely have to pull out everything we have for it.



San Francisco Giants @ Colorado Rockies

08/23/09 1:10 PM MDT

San Francisco Giants Colorado Rockies
Eugenio Velez - 2B Seth Smith - LF
Randy Winn - LF Dexter Fowler - CF
Pablo Sandoval - 3B Todd Helton - 1B
Bengie Molina - C Troy Tulowitzki - SS
Nate Schierholtz - RF Brad Hawpe - RF
Ryan Garko - 1B Ian Stewart - 3B
Aaron Rowand - CF Chris Iannetta - C
Edgar Renteria - SS Omar Quintanilla - 2B
Tim Lincecum - P Ubaldo Jimenez - P