OAKLAND -- Manager Ron Washington said Yu Darvish will be the Rangers' starter for the American League Wild Card game on Friday vs. the Orioles. "When we play again, he'll be our pitcher," Washington said before the Rangers fell to the Athletics, 12-5, in Wednesday's de facto AL West championship game. Darvish, who threw in the bullpen before Wednesday's game, finished the regular season 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA in 29 starts and 191 1/3 innings pitched. He was fifth in the AL with 221 strikeouts and opponents hit .220 off him, the third lowest in the league.
The right-hander last pitched on Sunday against the Angels, allowing three runs in 6 2/3 innings. Darvish left with a 4-3 lead before the Angels rallied to win in the ninth. After going 5-1 with a 2.35 ERA in his final eight starts, Darvish will now lead the Rangers' pitching staff into the playoffs. "I feel extremely good about it," Washington said. "I like the way he gone out and competed. The way he's competed from the beginning of the year until now. ... He's our big game pitcher." Matt Harrison, who pitched on Tuesday night against Oakland in a 3-1 loss, will be the No. 2 starter. That leaves Derek Holland and Ryan Dempster, but the Rangers haven't decided in what order they will pitch.