Matchup: Yu Darvish vs. Chris Archer
Archer (0-2, 3.86 ERA): The right-hander, who takes the place of David Price and his sore shoulder, has spent most of 2012 at Triple-A Durham in 2012 going 7-9 with a 3.66 ERA in 25 starts. ... He did make his big league debut in June, making two starts before going back down to the minors. ... He allowed one earned run on three hits in six innings against Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals on June 20, but got the loss. ... He gave up four runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings in a loss to the Royals six days later. ... He's pitched 128 innings in the minors this season. ... Opponents in Triple-A batted .218 against him and he had 139 strikeouts and 62 walks this season. ... He turns 24 in a few weeks and his last start came on Sept. 2. He went six innings and gave up one run on two hits with five strikeouts and one walk in a no-decision.
Darvish (14-9, 4.29 ERA): He's one of just six rookies in the last seven seasons with at least 14 wins (Justin Verlander leads the way with 17 in 2006), and the 14 wins are a Rangers rookie record. ... Darvish earned that latest win on Monday in Kansas City, allowing three runs on three hits with one walk and six strikeouts in seven innings. ... Darvish had a perfect game through 5 2/3 innings before allowing a walk and three straight hits in the sixth. ... He has a quality start in each of his last four starts. ... Darvish's 188 strikeouts are the second-most by a Rangers rookie, behind the 189 Edwin Correa had in 1986. ... Darvish faced the Rays on Aug. 28 and outdueled James Shields, allowing no runs in seven innings with 10 strikeouts and two walks.
Hitters: Archer has never faced the Rangers. ... The current Rays are just 6-for-25 off Darvish. ... The top hitter is Sam Fuld, who is 2-for-2. ... Evan Longoria is 0-for-3. Carlos Pena is 0-for-3 and all three outs are on strikeouts.
Sun at Tampa Bay: RHP Roy Oswalt (4-2, 5.85) vs. RHP James Shields (13-8, 3.88), 12:40 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.