Judging by stats alone, it's fair to say the two best pitching matchups of the series already happened because Tim Lincecum takes the mound Wednesday as a shadow of his old Cy Young self. But Lincecum vs. Stephen Strasburg still carries a lot of cachet, and both have a lot riding on Wednesday's game.

Strasburg knows he has few starts left before he is (supposedly) shut down for the year, and Lincecum wants to show he still can duel with aces. Throw in Lincecum's 3 1/3 -inning, eight-run disaster at Washington on July 3, his worst start of the year, and he has motivation aplenty.