Scouting report: Orioles at Rangers (AL wild card)
Dan Connolly breaks down each aspect of tonight's American League wild-card playoff between the Orioles and Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas.
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Matchup: Pitching( October 4, 2012 )
Rangers: Darvish has been phenomenal lately, going 5-1 with a 2.36 ERA in his last eight starts after since manager Ron Washington sat him down after a bad outing in Boston and stressed that he needs to be himself and not worry about outside criticism. The Rangers bullpen has been solid, but it's without injured set-up man Mike Adams. That leaves eighth inning duties to former Oriole Koji Uehara, who has been very good since returning from injury.
Orioles: The Orioles were forced to throw Chris Tillman on Wednesday; they would have preferred to have saved him for this one-game playoff. Left-handed starter Joe Saunders has had a nightmare in Arlington, posting a 0-6 record and a 9.38 career ERA in six games at Rangers Ballpark. The club has been led by its bullpen, including closer Jim Johnson and a pair of former Rangers, Darren O'Day and Pedro Strop. That shouldn't change in a one-game playoff, with manager Buck Showalter likely leaning on his pen early if needed.