W2W4: Rangers face Blue Jays
* Yu Darvish headlines things with a start tonight against the team that was rumored to have put in the high posting bid before the Rangers surfaced as the winner back in December. ESPN Stats & Information shares this stat:
|Rangers president Nolan Ryan dishes on Josh Hamilton's injury, Yu Darvish's performance against the Yankees, Derek Holland's slump and more.
PITCHES THROWN THIS SEASON:
* The Rangers enter the game leading the AL with a 2.89 ERA, fourth in the majors. It's just the fourth date in team history to have an ERA this low through at least 22 games. The other three dates came in 1983. The Blue Jays have a 3.78 ERA, fifth in the AL.
* Texas' starting rotation is tops in the AL with a 3.23 ERA, but the Blue Jays aren't far behind at 3.42 (tied for third).
* Edwin Encarnacion is Toronto's top producer, with seven homers and 20 RBIs to go along with a .310 average. He was just 5-for-30 against Texas pitching last year.
* Jose Bautista has just three homers so far in 2012 and is batting .190.
* This is Texas' third straight series against an AL East opponent. They are 5-3 against the division in 2012. The East owns four of the AL's six teams that are better than .500 this season. The Yankees and Rays are the only teams the Rangers have faced so far this season that are better than .500.
* Josh Hamilton comes in with a sore back and was taken out of Sunday's game. Watch to see if he plays. If he does tonight, he'll try to add to his ridiculous April numbers, which include nine homers and 25 RBIs. He's the first to hit at least that many homers and have that many RBIs in April since Alex Rodriguez in 2007. A-Rod won the MVP that season.
* Keep your eye on Elvis Andrus. He's hit save in three of four games and is 5-for-14 in that span. He's hitting .303 (20-for-66) in his last 17 games after starting the season slowly.
* Ricky Romero, 3-0, 3.18 ERA, is the Blue Jays' No. 1 pitcher and he'll go on Wednesday afternoon in the series finale.
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.