BY: Richard W. Humphrey
Thursday, the Rangers announced their starting rotation for the first five games of the season. Colby Lewis, as previously announced will pitch the opener on Friday, April 6 against the White Sox. Derek Holland will pitch game two on Saturday, and Matt Harrison will pitch game three on Sunday. Yu Darvish’s major league debut will be Monday, April 9 against the Mariners. Neftali Feliz is the fifth starter.
From the beginning of spring camp, these five pitchers have been lined up to pitch in this order. There was speculation that when the season began, Darvish and Harrison would switch places, such that the two lefties – Holland and Harrison – would not pitch consecutively. In the end after watching the progress of all the pitchers in spring training, the team didn’t change the order of the rotation.
Certainly, the date of Darvish’s much anticipated debut was a matter of tremendous curiosity. Undoubtedly, ESPN put all the pressure they could muster to have Darvish start game three on Sunday night, when ESPN is televising the game. In the end though, Darvish will be pitching against the Mariners on Monday night facing the most famous Japanese hitter to ever come to the big leagues – Ichiro Suzuki. On the Rangers’ channel 21 telecast Thursday night, the team advertised that tickets were available for the April 9 game against the Mariners. They won’t last long.