Tim Lincecum's gem against the Rockies Monday night may yet make a race out of the NL wild card, the lone prospect for any sort of September drama in the standings. But if the Giants ace eventually captures his second consecutive Cy Young, Monday's line -- 7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 11 K -- may go down as the clincher.

Lincecum has been out in front of the SportsNation voting most of the season. He dominated the midseason Cy Young rankings and had a 46-percent lead on his closest competition, Chris Carpenter, as recently as two weeks ago. But between Lincecum's bad back and Carpenter's amazing second half, the gap had closed to 20 percent last week.

Ryan (Detroit)

What would it take for Verlander to win the Cy Young?

Peter Gammons

I think he'd have to reel off dominant starts from here until the end of the season. As of now Zack Greinke's ERA, quality starts and strikeouts make him very difficult to beat. But Verlander, Felix Hernandez and CC Sabathia are right in the mix. Full transcript

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