Programming note: Rangers-A’s coverage starts tonight at 6:30 p.m. with A’s Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California
OAKLAND -- No one beats Yu Darvish like the A's.
But don't expect the team that's responsible for more than a third of Darvish's career MLB losses to declare dominance.
"You can't really have dominance over a guy like that," Stephen Vogt said. "When you play against a guy like Yu, you've got to grind out at-bats. We've done that and hopefully we can do that again tonight."
It's that grind-it-out mentality that has served Darvish a 1-7 record in nine career starts against the A's. No other major league team has beaten him more than three times.
"As a team, collectively, we make pitchers work for it," John Jaso said. "If he's not getting calls, he'll throw a lot of pitches, and the sooner you get into the 'pen against an elite pitcher like that, the better."
The numbers support the approach. Darvish, who led the league in strikeouts last year and needs just one more for 600 in his career, has a difficult time dispatching A's.
Coco Crisp (.368 in 19 at-bats), John Jaso (.368 in 19 at-bats), Brandon Moss (.350 with four home runs in 20 at-bats), Derek Norris (1-for-3), Eric Sogard (.308 in 13 at-bats) and Alberto Callaspo (.304 in 23 at-bats) all can claim some level of "ownage" over Darvish.
"He's a tough matchup for anybody," manager Bob Melvin said. "But we have some guys with some decent numbers against him."
Josh Donaldson, who is getting a regular day of rest on Tuesday, is not one of those guys. The A's standout third baseman has four hits in 18 at-bats against Darvish (.222) and will be reserved for pinch-hitting duties in Game 2.
Darvish is 7-2 with a 2.11 ERA this season. With two All-Star selections in two years, the 27-year old has controlled the world's best baseball league since the moment he joined it. He faced the A's for the first time in May of 2012 and struck out seven while pitching into the eighth inning of a 6-1 win in Arlington.
Since that game, Darvish is 0-7 with a 5.32 ERA opposing Oakland.
"One of those unexplainable things in baseball," Derek Norris said.
"We've been fortunate," Melvin said. "He's no day at the beach."