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Tim Lincecum’s Last Start Against Padres Will Have Several Starters Resting: Fan’s Preview

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After solid starts by Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong in the last few days, it will be Tim Lincecum's turn on Sunday to have one last chance at pitching in the regular season. With only Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner guaranteed a slot in the team's National League Divisional Series rotation, a solid start to end the season will be important in determining who will start the team's first games of the playoffs.

While solid pitching by Lincecum will be more important than earning the win in this series finale against the San Diego Padres, he will have a tougher time earning the win with manager Bruce Bochy deciding to rest many regular starters. With Hector Sanchez likely catching Lincecum's eight straight start, Buster Posey will get a designated day of rest instead of start at first base. Marco Scutaro is another regular who will likely sit on Sunday.

As for Padres starter Edinson Volquez, the right-hander is coming off a start where he allowed zero runs in seven innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Struggling with control issues all season with a NL-leading 5.14 walks per nine innings, the Giants hitters could earn some extra base runners if they can stay disciplined and selective at the plate. With few regular season games left before games start to really matter, the Giants can use this game against a somewhat-wild pitcher as a tool for practicing bat control.

Matchup:

The San Francisco Giants will visit the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park located in San Diego, CA on Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 1:05 p.m. PT. This will be the third game in a three-game series.

Season series:

Giants lead series 11-6.

Standings:

San Francisco comes into the matchup with a 92-66 record and in first place in the National League West. They are 44-33 when playing on the road and have won seven of their last 10 games.

San Diego enters the game with a 75-83 record and in fourth place in the National League West. They are 42-38 when playing at home and have won four of their last 10 games.

Starting pitcher matchup:

San Francisco: Tim Lincecum

2012 season: 10-15, 5.15 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 186 Ks

Career numbers vs. Padres: 10-5, 2.28 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 158 Ks

Career numbers at PETCO Park: 5-2, 2.15 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 89 Ks

San Diego: Edinson Volquez

2012 season: 11-11, 4.13 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 170 Ks

Career numbers vs. Giants: 2-1, 5.54 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 30 K

Career numbers at PETCO Park: 7-6, 2.79 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 116 Ks

Where to watch and listen to the game:

The game can be watched and heard live locally at the following:

In San Francisco: CSN-BA HD & KNBR 680

In San Diego: FSSD & XPRS 1090

Next series on tap:

In their last series of the season, the Giants will visit the Los Angeles Dodgers from October 1-3.

Meanwhile, the Padres' last series will be on the road against the Milwaukee Brewers from October 1-3.

Sources:

Lincecum faces Padres looking to earn NLDS start, MLB.com

Giants-Padres Preview, AP

More from this contributor:

Giants' Madison Bumgarner Makes His Final Start of Regular Season Against Padres: Fan's Preview

Fan's Preview: Will Ryan Vogelsong's Start Earn Him a Spot in the Giants' Postseason Rotation?

Playoff-Bound Barry Zito Starts Giants' Last Home Game: Fan's Preview

San Francisco Giants Will Have Barry Zito on 2012 Postseason Roster: Fan's Take

Melky Cabrera's Refusal of Batting Title is Small Step Towards Repairing Image: Fan's Take

Austin Chang is a lifelong San Francisco Bay Area native, baseball fan, and supporter of the San Francisco Giants. Follow this Featured Contributor on Google+ and Twitter @_austinchang.

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