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Texas Rangers Yu Darvish Preparing for Baltimore Orioles


Rick Yeatts, Getty Images
Rick Yeatts, Getty Images

Texas Rangers rookie Yu Darvish was all the talk in regards to the Rangers last off-season, come Friday he will try to hold off the next off-season for at least another week.

The high-price Japanese import will start Friday’s win or go home wild-card game against Baltimore.

“Of course, I’m ready,” Darvish said. “If I wasn’t ready, I wouldn’t be named to pitch that game. I’m just going to try to approach it like any other start and try to win.”

Darvish is 5-1 with a 2.35 ERA since Aug. 12, but he has started just once in the last two weeks, however, due to a stiff neck He has not faced the Orioles this season.

This will be the biggest game of Darvish’s young MLB career thus far, but he’s not shy of big stages or big moments.

Darvish pitched in the playoffs for Japan’s Nippon Ham Fighters in five of the past six seasons. In 11 games, he went 8-2 with a 1.38 ERA and five complete games. He was the winning pitcher in the final game of the 2006 Japan Series as the Fighters won their first title since 1961.

He also helped Japan win both the 2009 World Baseball Classic and the 2007 Asian Baseball Championship.

The Orioles are likely to choose between left-hander Joe Saunders, who is 0-6 with a 9.38 ERA in six career games in Arlington, and rookie Steve Johnson, whose status is unclear after a knee injury last week.

First pitch from the Ball Park in Arlington Friday between Baltimore and Texas is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT on TBS.

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