We can come off the ledge now.
The crisis has been averted. The question has been answered.
For everyone who has been agonizing and asking what’s wrong with Hamels and Darvish, apparently nothing is.
Nothing is exactly what the Athletics have been able to get off the top two Rangers pitchers.
On Friday, Hamels wasn’t brilliant—he bent but he never broke—but he was good when he had to be. And he had to be Friday. Because, after giving up at least six earned runs in three of his last four starts, he needed to right the ship for the playoffs. He still leads the American League in walks, which is troubling. But he’s 15-5, which means he has the stones to avoid Martin Perez Meltdown Syndrome when things don’t go his way.
On Saturday, Darvish was brilliant. His fastball was on target and his slider had devastating break. He struck out nine in seven efficient innings, allowing just two hits and one walk. That was a welcome sign, too. That’s because Darvish gave up seven earned runs his last time, also against Oakland, which has owned him throughout his career. Not yesterday.
It was Darvish’s first ever career win in the toilet bowl of sewage seepage known as Oakland Coliseum. In Darvish’s defense, it’s hard to pitch effectively with a plunger in your hand.
The Rangers clinched a playoff birth on Friday.
After watching Hamels and Darvish back to back, they may have just clinched a chance to win a series.
Now they really have a reason to break out the Champagne.
Colby Lewis (6-3, 3.40) vs. Jharel Cotton (1-0, 1.50)
Game time: 3:05
The Rangers have never faced Cotton.
How the Athletics hit against Lewis.
TEXAS 92–63, BOSTON 91–64 (-1.0), CLEVELAND 90-64 (-1.5)