Mound Matchup: Yu Darvish vs. Zack Greinke
The Texas Rangers send Yu Darvish to the mound tonight in the finale of their three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels at 9:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and FSSW. Trade deadline acquisition Zack Greinke will take the mound for the Angels. A quick look at the matchup:
Darvish (15-9, 4.02 ERA): The 26-year-old right-hander has three consecutive starts with at least seven innings and three or fewer hits allowed, tying Nolan Ryan's club record (1990). Darvish is the first Ranger (and 25th major leaguer) since 1918 with at least 15 wins in his first 27 career games. ... He has the most strikeouts among major league rookies (205) and is the fourth-fastest pitcher to reach 200 career strikeouts. ... Has a 5.32 ERA in four starts against the Angels (2-1), though he has allowed only four earned runs in 13 1/3 innings at Angel Stadium. ... The Rangers are 18-9 in his starts.
Greinke (14-5, 3.56 ERA): Greinke has won four straight decisions. ... Has tossed at least seven innings in eight of his 10 starts with the Angels. ... Will be making his first appearance against the Rangers since 2010. ... Greinke has a 1.26 ERA (six earned runs in 43 innings) against Texas since 2007.
Hitters: Elvis Andrus is 3-for-8 with a double off Greinke. ... Ian Kinsler and Mike Napoli have each homered once off Greinke, but haven't had much success otherwise. Kinsler is 3-for-18 (.167) with seven strikeouts; Napoli is 2-for-11 (.182). ... Josh Hamilton is hitless in 16 career at-bats against Greinke. ... Mike Trout is 4-for-11 (.364) with a home run off Darvish. ... Torii Hunter (3-for-11) and Albert Pujols (2-for-11) have also taken Darvish deep. ... Mark Trumbo (0-for-10), Kendrys Morales (0-for-8) and Howie Kendrick (0-for-6) have not fared well against Darvish.
Fri. at SEA: Martin Perez (1-1, 3.38 ERA) vs. Hisashi Iwakuma (6-5, 3.39 ERA), 9:10 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/TXA-21
Sat. at SEA: Matt Harrison (17-9, 3.26 ERA) vs. Blake Beavan (9-10, 4.88 ERA), 8:10 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/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.