The Rangers' last off-season revolved around the pursuit of Yu Darvish. On Friday he will attempt to stave off the next off-season for at least another week.

Manager Ron Washington said Wednesday that Darvish will start the wild-card game Friday against Baltimore. He would have been the Game 1 starter if the Rangers had gone directly to the Division Series.

Darvish, in whom the Rangers' invested $107 million last winter, is 5-1 with a 2.35 ERA since Aug. 12. He has started just once in the last two weeks, however, due to a stiff neck. After missing his Sept. 25 turn, he came back to pitch 6 2/3 innings against Los Angeles with three runs allowed. It extended his streak of quality starts to eight in a row.

'Of course I'm ready," Darvish said through interpreter Joe Furukawa. "If I'm not ready, I probably wouldn't be picked. I'm going to approach it like any other start. I'll try to pitch well and give my team a chance to win."