Matchup: Derek Holland vs. Ivan Nova
Holland (7-6, 4.92 ERA): The 25-year-old, who is scheduled to make his 19th start, is 1-2 with a 5.71 ERA in his last five starts. ... Over those five starts, his ERA has increased by nearly a half-run, from 4.57 to 4.92. ... In seven starts since returning from the disabled list (left shoulder fatigue), Holland has had four quality starts but has allowed six runs in each of the other three outings. ... Holland was a hard-luck loser in his last start, giving up just three hits in 7 2/3 innings against Detroit but getting out dueled by Tigers ace Justin Veralnder. ... Holland is 0-5 with 9.09 ERA in six career regular-season starts against the Yankees.
Nova (11-6, 4.70 ERA): The 25-year-old, who is scheduled to make his 24th start, has just two wins in his last nine starts. ... Nova last started Aug. 11 vs. Toronto. He gave up two earned runs on five hits in 7 1/3 innings and got the win. ... It was his fourth career start with at least 10 strikeouts and the third time he's done it this year (also 5/19 against Cincinnati and 7/8 against Boston). ... Nova will be making his fourth career start against the Rangers. In his previous three, he went 201 with a 4.67 ERA. At home, Nova is 2-1 with an 8.10 ERA against Texas.
Hitters: None of the Rangers have an extensive history against Nova. Josh Hamilton is 2-for-3 with an RBI double and Ian Kinsler is 2-for-6 with a homer and three walks. Adrian Beltre has struggled, going 1-for-9. Michael Young, who had the day off Wednesday but is expected to be in the lineup Thursday, is 3-for-8 with a double and three RBIs. ... It's fair to say that some key Yankees have had their way with Holland. Derek Jeter is 9-for-16 with three doubles and two RBIs. Robinson Cano is 7-for-19 with a triple, homer and five RBIs and Mark Teixeira is 7-for-18 with three homers and eight RBIs. New Yankee Ichiro Suzuki is 8-for-32 with two doubles and three RBIs against Holland.
Fri at Toronto: RHP Yu Darvish (12-8, 4.54 ERA) vs. LHP J.A. Happ (8-10, 5.04 ERA), 6:07 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.