The Texas Rangers will give the ball to rookie Yu Darvish in their one-game playoff with the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night, and the 25-year-old Japanese national is feeling good and confident going into the win-or-go home scenario.
“Of course I’m ready,” Darvish said through an interpreter, per the Dallas Morning News. “If I’m not ready, I probably wouldn’t be picked. I’m going to approach it like any other start. I’ll try to pitch well and give my team a chance to win.”
Lately, Darvish hasn’t had any issue with accomplishing this goal (knock on wood): He comes into the Wild Card game with the Orioles riding a streak of eight consecutive quality starts, and has been pretty impressive since the calendar turned from August to September.
“I’m not going to put any labels on guys as a No. 1 or whatever,” said Rangers’ manager Ron Washington, after the loss to Oakland on Wednesday. “But when we play our next game, he’s going to pitch. I like the way he has gone out and competed. I like where he started and where he has arrived. You can say this: He is a big-game pitcher.”