The Rangers were and still are in a strange spot. The Rangers are a team that has the assets committed that the window to win is now. But at the same time, those same assets turn into a winner in 2017.
As a result, the Rangers were a seller at the deadline. The team from Arlington sent their one-time ace Yu Darvish to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the deadline for 2B Willie Calhoun, RHP A.J. Alexy, and SS Brendon Davis.
With the Dodgers, Darvish was 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA in nine starts during the regular season. He did spend time on the disabled list in August with lower back tightness.
But now Darvish faces the Astros for the 15th time in his career, obviously the first time in the playoffs.
Darvish twice during the 2013 season, he nearly had a no-hitter/perfect game against the Astros. It took heroics from Marwin Gonzalez and Carlos Corporan in each game to not make that a reality.
Darvish has been reality constant against the Astros:
Yu Darvish year-by-year against the Astros
The Astros haven’t seen vastly different results or a steady improvement over the years. Darvish is a tough, constant pitcher for the Astros.
And being at Minute Maid Park doesn’t help the Astros with Darvish. He is 4-1 with a 2.16 ERA in six career starts at the Juice Box.
With the Dodgers, Darvish has been using his curveball more (5.6 percent to 7.6 percent) with that percentage coming out of his fastball. But he has been using the cutter, slider, and changeup at about the same rate.