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Rockies mission: Solve Tim Lincecum

Last Thursday, we talked about the impending trio of games between your Colorado Rockies and the San Diego Padres, and the importance of the Rocks winning at least two of the three games going into a key series in San Francisco against the Giants. Unfortunately, that didn't happen: Colorado took game one in dramatic fashion, but dropped the second one in extra innings and fell 7-3 yesterday. The good news: Because the Padres put more of a hurting on the Giants than expected before the Rockies hit town, Colorado's wild-card lead over SF remains a healthy four-and-a-half games. The bad news: San Francisco swept the Rockies at Coors Field a few weeks back, and the Giants starters are slated to appear in the same order tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday as they did then. First up: Tim Lincecum, who shut out the Rockies through eight innings in late August (and struck out an equal number of batters), is expected to face hard-luck starter Jason Hammel.

Going 2-1 or better over the next three wouldn't mathematically slay the Giants, but it'd go a long way toward solidifying the Rockies' playoff position, especially considering that Colorado has eight of the next eleven games at home. Conversely, getting swept again would give San Francisco life at the worst possible time. Don't take a nap, Rockies bats: This week, you can't let Lincecum and company put you to sleep again.

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