Nathan Eovaldi got the start for the Texas Rangers in Game 1 of their World Series matchup with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night — a well-deserved green light for the right-hander.

Since joining Texas on a two-year deal in free agency last offseason, Eovaldi’s embraced every challenge. With an elevated role after Jacob deGrom went down with season-ending Tommy John surgery, Eovaldi delivered, winning 12 games with a 3.63 ERA in 25 starts.

Through the postseason, Eovaldi only raised the bar, going 4-0 with a 2.42 ERA in four starts, creating a no-brainer decision for the Rangers.

“Man, he is so focused,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said before Game 1, per MLB Network Radio video. “He’s got that maniacal focus you love and he just competes so hard and he doesn’t let up. I mean, it’s a pitch at a time with him and you know he’s got that ability to keep the poise when he needs to with men on base.”

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Similar to Eovaldi’s five-year run with the Boston Red Sox, the 33-year-old has once again proved to be an absolute gamer.

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First, Eovaldi took the mound and sent two American League East contenders packing. The Tampa Bay Rays, in the AL Wild Card, and the Baltimore Orioles, in the AL Division Series, both failed to avoid elimination with Eovaldi rising to the occasion.

Then, taking on the defending World Series champion Houston Astros, Eovaldi delivered 6 1/3 innings while holding their elite offense to just two runs in a clutch Game 6 performance.

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On Friday night, Eovaldi got off to a slow start, however. The Diamondbacks tagged the two-time All-Star for five runs through 4 2/3 innings before Bochy made a trip to the mound and signaled to the Rangers bullpen.

Texas dodged a bullet, courtesy of some late-game heroics, taking a 1-0 series lead over Arizona.

Featured image via Raymond Carlin III/USA TODAY Sports Images