Matchup: Felix Hernandez-Alexi Ogando
Hernandez (14-13, 3.32): The defending Cy Young Award winner make his final start of the season looking to avenge his last loss on Sept. 18 to the Rangers. He allowed three runs on nine hits over seven innings. ... Among AL starters, he ranks fourth in strikeouts (220), is tied for fourth in innings pitched (230.1) and 14th in ERA (3.32). ... He has recorded a quality start in 46 of the last 58 starts (22 of 32 this season).
Ogando (13-8, 3.58): The All-Star has been intentionally slowed down in September after a rocky stretch of starts. He has two starts this month and is 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 11.0 innings pitched. He also has one relief appearance when he was given extra rest and skipped a start. ... He should be well-rested for the middle game of this series working on eight days rest. ... Owns a record of just 6-8 with a 5.06 ERA over his last 16 starts beginning June 14 to raise his ERA to its current level. Over his last seven starts, he has a 6.42 ERA.
Hitting: Adam Kennedy has had Ogando's number over his career with four hits, including a triple in seven at-bats with three RBIs. ... As a team, the Mariners are batting .286 against him, but no one has as many as Ichiro's eight at-bats, so it's a pretty small sampling. Ichiro, by the way, has just one hit. ... Several Rangers have given Hernandez fits over the years starting with Elvis Andrus, who is batting .349 (15-43) against him with eight RBIs. ... Nelson Cruz is hitting .273 with three home runs and David Murphy hits .291 off Hernandez, but also has struck out 12 times. ... Josh Hamilton has struggled to the tune of a .195 average. He walked eight times with just one home run.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.