Matchup: Yu Darvish vs. Chris Sale
ARLINGTON, Texas -- After an off day Thursday, the Texas Rangers resume their 10-game homestand with a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox. The first game of this series features RHP Yu Darvish vs. LHP Chris Sale. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 130.3 FM/1540 AM/TXA21. A quick look at the matchup:
Darvish (11-6, 3.88): The 25-year-old and 2012 All-Star ranks among the AL leaders in strikeouts per nine innings (second, 10.24), strikeouts (fourth, 132), wins (tied fourth, 11) and opponent average (sixth, .226). ... He ranks third in the AL in walks (61) and hit batters (9). ... His 11 wins and 132 strikeouts lead all AL rookies, and he leads MLB with six double-digit strikeout games (fifth pitcher in MLB history to have that many in his first 18 career games). ... He was the fastest pitcher to reach 100 strikeouts in Rangers history, doing so in 15 games. ... Darvish has never faced the White Sox. ... He is 8-1 with a 2.51 ERA when facing a team for the first time.
Sale (11-3, 2.37): The 23-year-old has the second-best ERA in the AL (sixth-best in MLB) and is tied with Darvish for the fourth-most wins in the AL. ... He won his previous start against the Rangers this season, a 19-2 drubbing in which he pitched 7 1/3 innings and allowed five hits, one run and a walk while striking out four. ... He has the second-highest strikeout total on the White Sox staff (108) and has allowed the least home runs among Chicago starters (6). ... He won eight straight games before taking a loss in his last start against the Detroit Tigers. ... He has pitched well on the road, going 6-1 with a 3.03 ERA in 62 1/3 innings pitched in nine starts, but has has been even better at home at 5-2 with a 1.63 ERA in eight starts.
Hitters: Darvish has never faced a White Sox hitter. ... Sale has allowed a .211 career average to Rangers hitters. ... Adrian Beltre is 2-for-5 with a strikeout. ... Josh Hamilton is 1-for-3 with a walk. ... Mike Napoli is 1-for-3 with a strikeout. ... Elvis Andrus is 0-for-5 with a walk and a strikeout.
Sat. vs. CWS: LHP Matt Harrison (12-5, 3.02) vs. RHP Philip Humber (4-5, 6.25), 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW.
Sun. vs. CWS: RHP Roy Oswalt (3-1, 5.22) vs. RHP Gavin Floyd (8-8, 4.46), 6:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW.
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.