ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) — The Rangers’ 2012 season ended with Yu Darvish on the mound in Arlington. Darvish and the Rangers will attempt to secure a different fate on Sunday.
Darvish will take the mound for the 32nd time this season with the opportunity to send the Rangers to their fourth consecutive postseason. Never before has the Rangers’ playoff fate come down to the final day of the regular season.
But Sunday’s season finale against the Los Angeles Angels is nothing special – at least to Darvish.
“Like I always say, a game in April is as important as a game in September, so there is no special feeling for me,” said Darvish on Friday.
Despite surrendering just four runs, the 27-year-old has failed to complete six innings in his last two September starts. The team has won just two of their last eight games with Darvish on the mound.
“Compared to last year, physically I feel a little bit different. But there’s nothing in particular I can comment on,” said Darvish.
The right-hander is no stranger to big games in Arlington. Last season, Darvish took the mound in the AL Wild Card game against Baltimore, surrendering three runs and collecting the loss.
He didn’t feel pressure then, and he is adamant that pressure won’t be a factor on Sunday.
“I’d feel a lot of pressure if caught cheating on my girlfriend — other than that, no.”
Updated Playoff Scenarios
Texas and Tampa Bay are deadlocked at (90-71) for the second Wild Card, with Cleveland one game ahead in the standings. A Texas win on Sunday guarantees another game — though not the playoffs.
Here are the possible scenarios heading into Sunday:
- If Texas wins and Tampa Bay loses, the Rangers will secure the second Wild Card position regardless of what Cleveland does. Texas would travel to Cleveland on Wednesday for the AL Wild Card Game.
- If Texas, Tampa Bay, and Cleveland win on Sunday, the Rangers will host the Rays on Monday in a playoff to determine the second Wild Card berth. The winner would travel to Cleveland on Wednesday for the Wild Card Game.
- If Texas and Tampa Bay win and Cleveland loses, a three-way tie will exist in the Wild Card standings. Cleveland and Tampa Bay will meet on Monday in Cleveland. The winner will secure the first Wild Card. The loser will travel to Arlington to meet Texas on Tuesday for the second Wild Card.
- If Texas loses and Tampa Bay wins, the Rangers are eliminated from the playoffs.
- If Texas and Tampa Bay lose, they will meet in Arlington on Monday for the second Wild Card.
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