Have the Oakland A’s gotten into the heads of the Texas Rangers?
It’s one thing that the A’s took the American League West by storm last year, winning six of the last seven games against the Rangers to win the West title by one game.
It’s another that the A’s were seven games back on May 15 this season and have stormed into a three-game lead in the division entering a four-game series that starts tonight.
And then there’s the case of Yu Darvish. He’s the Rangers’ best starting pitcher, but coming into his start Tuesday he is 1-3 with a 3.81 ERA against Oakland.
And, asked Sunday about facing the A’s, he sounded torn between being confident and being wary.
“I don’t think I have any difficulty facing them,’’ he told the Texas media. “It’s like facing a new team every time, because the condition of the team varies from each time I face them.’’
Well, yes, the A’s have made changes up and down the roster during Darvish’s time in Texas. But Oakland will mostly be healthy and have its roster intact heading into this series.
Asked about the significance of the series, Darvish wouldn’t make much of it.
“It’s only June. It’s too early in the season to be thinking about those things,’’ he said. “I don’t really have anything to say other than we’re going to have a meeting again and try and figure out how to win.’’
That sounds like something you say when the other team is in your head a little.