Playoff Reset: Blue Jays vs. Rangers ALDS Game 2

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The Game: Toronto Blue Jays @ Texas Rangers, ALDS Game 2
The Time: 1:00 PM EDT
The Place: Globe Life Park, Arlington, Texas
The Channel: TBS
The Starters: J.A. Happ (Blue Jays) vs.Yu Darvish (Rangers)

The Upshot:

Well, Game 1 was a butt-kicking, eh? An ineffective Cole Hamels and multiple mistakes, all capitalized on by the Blue Jays, led to their shellacking of the Texas Rangers. Now the clubs get an early wakeup call for a noon local time Game 2.

The somewhat good news for Texas is that they “only” used three relievers in that blood bath yesterday, and only one of them — Alex Claudio — went long, burning him for today. Still, Jeff Bannister is going to want as long an outing as possible from starter Yu Darvish (7-5, 3.41 ERA) to make up for yesterday’s disaster. Darvish is on six days’ rest. In his last two starts of the regular season, he allowed one earned run in 13 innings, allowing five hits and striking out 21. Cole Hamels may be the Rangers’ ace, but Darvish needs to be their horse this afternoon.

For Toronto, it’s J.A. Happ, (20-4, 3.18), making his first postseason appearance since losing to the Yankees in the 2009 World Series for the Philadelphia Phillies. Happ faced the Rangers once this year, giving up one run on six hits in seven inning and getting the W. That was back in May, though, so it may as well have been a billion years ago.

Another bit of good news? The Blue Jays lost Game 1 in last year’s ALDS matchup between these two clubs but went on to win the series. It’s not what you really want, but hold all of your “pivotals” and “crucials” for a few more hours.

But really, if the Rangers play in the same kind of fog they played in yesterday, this one is going to be over before it even really begins.