When Darvish takes the hill Saturday against the Angels and C.J. Wilson, he'll be doing more than vying for his eighth win, which would put him in a tie for the Major League lead, he'll also be trying to help the Rangers even the three-game set. But none of that has overshadowed the bigger picture for Rangers president Nolan Ryan.
"I've been really happy with his development and his contributions and the adjustment that he made," Ryan said. "I think probably most of us, if not all of us, do not really understand maybe the challenges that he has and the transition he's going through. So I'm very pleased from what we've seen from him.
"And the fact that he's had a couple of games where he wasn't as sharp as other games, is that concerning? No, that's expected I think. And I think if you look at our rotation, I think that's been pretty much true for the entire rotation."
Darvish was quite sharp, though, in his only game against the Angels this season. On May 11, the right-hander limited the Angels to three runs in 5 1/3 innings, striking out seven in the process, coming back to the mound after a rain delay of nearly two hours.
Wilson didn't come back from the delay and took the loss, after allowing four runs in one-third of an inning, but he returned to start the following day, tossing 5 2/3 innings in a 4-2 Angels win.
"I don't think there was anything that he showed us that we didn't expect, from what we were looking at," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Darvish. "Our hitters needed to get in the batter's box to start to see release points, start to see the ball, but his stuff is obviously really good. Hopefully we do a little better when we get another crack at him."
Rangers: Young piling up hits vs. Halos
Michael Young's single on Friday was his 233rd career hit against the Angels. He is tied for seventh place in all-time hits against the Angels with Robin Yount. Up next is Alex Rodriguez with 237.
Angels: Blister no problem for Wilson
Wilson will take the mound for the Angels on Saturday after being forced to exit his last start early because of a blister on his pitching hand. Wilson did last six innings on that May 27 start, limiting the Mariners to just a run on two hits and picking up the win.
Ernesto Frieri pitched a perfect ninth for the Angels on Friday, striking out two and earning his third save. Frieri extended his Major League record of appearances with a club without allowing a hit to 13.