ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's Yu Darvish Day in Rangersland, so our What to Watch For (W2W4) is some facts and figures for you heading into his start tonight (courtesy of Rich Rice, Rangers media relations guru):
* Darvish will be the third pitcher in club history to make his big league debut within one of the team's first four games in a season. The others: Don Stanhouse (ND, 6.2 IP, 1 R-ER) on April 19, 1972 at Chicago-AL and Bobby Witt (ND, 3.1 IP, 6 R-5 ER) on April 10, 1986 vs. Toronto in the third game that year.
* Darvish is scheduled to make his major league debut at 25 years, 236 days old. He'll be the second-youngest Japanese native ever to make his big league debut. Only Boston’s Tomo Ohka (23.123 on July 19, 1999 vs. Florida) had an earlier debut.
* He'll be the sixth native of Japan ever to appear in a major league game with the Rangers, joining five other RHPs: Hideki Irabu (2002), Akinori Otsuka (2006-07), Kazuo Fukumori (2008), Yoshinori Tateyama (2011) and Koji Uehara (2011).
* Darvish has pitched in big games worldwide. He pitched for Gold Medal-winning Japan teams in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and the 2007 Asian Baseball Championship, and also appeared for his country in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
* He was 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA (3 ER/13.0 IP) in 5 games/2 starts for Japan in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, earning the win and recording the last out to secure the championship against Korea. Darvish also ended Japan's semifinal win over the United States.
* Darvish will have a strong lineup behind him, but he's used to good run support. He received four or more runs of support in a start 53 times in Japan and was 49-0 with a 1.94 ERA in those games. With three or more runs of support, he's 53-4 in 59 starts, with only one loss in those games in the last four seasons.