Sunday's streaking and slumping starting pitchers
STREAKINGYu Darvish, Texas Rangers (16-9, 3.90)
Darvish was scratched from his scheduled start on Tuesday with a stiff neck but has been sharp in September, going 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in four starts. He struck out nine and held the Angels to one run on four hits over eight innings to earn a win in his last start on Sept. 20. The Japanese right-hander has not lost since Aug. 17 and has turned in a quality start in each of his last seven trips. Darvish is 3-1 with a 4.26 ERA in five starts against Los Angeles in 2012.
Kris Medlen, Atlanta Braves (9-1, 1.64)
Medlen will be looking to set a major league record on Sunday. The Braves have won the last 22 games the right-hander has started, tying Whitey Ford and the Yankees and Carl Hubbell and the Giants for the record. Medlen, who would start the one-game wild card playoff on regular rest Friday, has not lost since joining the rotation at the end of July. He did allow more than two runs for the first time on Tuesday, when he was reached for three runs in seven innings against Miami. Medlen has beaten the Mets twice in his last nine starts, yielding a total of three runs in 12 1/3 innings.
Henderson Alvarez, Toronto Blue Jays (9-14, 4.91)
Alvarez has lost two straight starts and seven of his last nine decisions. He had strung together three straight quality starts before giving up four runs in 5 2/3 innings of a loss at Baltimore last time out. Alvarez is 0-1 with a 5.64 ERA in four career starts against New York, including three this season. Mike Fiers, Milwaukee Brewers (9-9, 3.55)
Fiers' strong rookie season went south in September, as he is 1-3 with a 6.97 ERA in five starts this month. He hasn't made it past the fifth inning in any of those outings and gave up four runs in 4 1/3 innings in a loss at Cincinnati his last time out.