User ID
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Betting Tools

Washington picks Darvish as first playoff starter

New customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Yu Darvish will start the Texas Rangers' first playoff game - and he finally knows all the details about who and when.

Manager Ron Washington announced Darvish as his pick before the Rangers lost their regular-season finale at Oakland 12-5 on Wednesday to wind up as an AL wild card.

``Of course I'm ready,'' Darvish said through an interpreter. ``If I'm not ready I probably wouldn't be picked. I'm going to approach it like any other start. I'll try to pitch well and give my team a chance to win.''

The two-time reigning AL champion Rangers will play in the new one-game, wild-card playoff on Friday at home against the Baltimore Orioles.

``He's finally Yu Darvish,'' Washington said of the club's prized offseason pickup. ``I don't know the date, but it was Boston. He found Yu Darvish then, and he's been Yu Darvish since. He was searching to find what he was capable of doing over here. And I think he realizes now that competing in a relaxed, trusting and believing, that there was something he was searching for all year and he finally found it. Which is what he is when he's at his best, which is what all pitchers are when they're at their best. It's not just those adjectives I've described as Yu Darvish. That's pitchers, period, when they're at their best.''

The 26-year-old is 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA in 29 starts and 191 1-3 innings in his first major league season after a stellar career in Japan. The 6-foot-5 right-hander has 221 strikeouts to just 89 walks and was an All-Star.

He won his final four decisions and hasn't lost in six starts since Aug. 17.

Washington met with Darvish after his Aug. 6 start at Boston, a 9-2 loss in which he was tagged for six earned runs and 11 hits in 6 2-3 innings with nine strikeouts and four walks. Darvish has lost only once since, at Toronto on Aug. 17.

``Mainly, it's mental. I'm pitching with more of a strong mind and with confidence,'' Darvish said. ``We had a conversation (in Boston). But we didn't talk in depth about pitching.''

Darvish won his first four decisions under the huge hype of his first season in the big leagues. Before being selected an All-Star, the diplomatic pitcher insisted his numbers needed to be on par with the best in the game to earn consideration.

Darvish - with his rock star status from Japan still ever present at spring training - arrived at the team's Surprise, Ariz., spring site with his shaggy hair tinted orange and a dark goatee. His every move was monitored for months, and still is.

Darvish signed a $56 million, six-year contract, and the Rangers paid his Japanese club $51.7 million just to acquire him.

``I keep saying it, the guy was under tremendous pressure coming over here, learning everything, making adjustments,'' Washington said. ``It took that point for him to find the adjustments he had to make to become what he always knew he was and we knew he was, and he found it. And that would be no different if it was any other pitcher who's a pretty good pitcher making adjustments.''

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2015
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

Bonds, Marlins discuss hitting coach job
Braves, RP Johnson agree to 1-yr deal
Royals, RP Collins agree to 1-year deal
Zimmermann agrees to deal with Tigers
Puig gets swollen eye thanks to bouncer
Jays sign LHP Happ to three-year deal
Former MLB outfielder Nixon arrested
Avila, White Sox reach $2.5M deal
D-backs name Magadan hitting coach
Why Buy Picks From
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
Live Odds
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 2463
Vince Akins + 1414
Chip Chirimbes + 1286
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 992
John Fisher + 906
Doc's Sports + 704
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
The Gold Sheet + 727
Bill Marzano + 560
Kyle Hunter + 559
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 1664
Chip Chirimbes + 1582
Vince Akins + 1551
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 2104
Vince Akins + 1641
Don Anthony + 1557
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 633
Jimmy Boyd + 579
Kyle Hunter + 429
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership