ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 16: Yu Darvish #11 of the Texas Rangers reacts after Mike Zunino #3 of the Seattle Mariners flied out to end the top of the sixth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 16, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
On a good team, you want an ace pitcher to be the guy that puts his boot on the opponent's throat, and stomps down really, really hard.
On a bad team, the ace just simply has to stop the bleeding every fifth day.
Unfortunately, the Texas Rangers this year fall into the latter category even though they have a top-3 pitcher in the American League in Darvish, who will certainly finish in the running for the AL Cy Young Award this season after a second-place finish in 2013.
If the Rangers are able to get in Thursday night's game against Baltimore due to the 90 percent chances of rain, Darvish will be on the hill and he'll be looking to stop the bleeding a four-game losing skid dating back to, you guessed it, the last time Darvish was on the mound.
Darvish's previous start was Saturday at home against the Minnesota Twins and he was stellar pitching eight shutout innings with 10 strikeouts in a 5-0 Rangers win. That followed a two-start stretch in which Darvish wasn't as effective as he has been for most of this season.
He'll be facing a team largely unfamiliar with him, as he's only faced the Orioles one time — that fateful night in 2012 when the Rangers lost the AL Wild Card Game to Baltimore and Joe Saunders, of all people.