Tigers continue to have Johan Santana’s number

Unlike any mediocre Chicago White Sox pitcher this year, Detroit batters continue to rise to the occasion when Johan Santana takes the mound. Whether the regular Tiger starter lineup is placed out there or whether it is the Toledo Mud Hens in disguise, the team seems to rise to the occasion. This is in stark contrast to the 2006 season where Detroit walked away with a single win in 5 tries.

What has changed? Well, in 2006 Detroit had the opportunity to put some of their best pitchers out there to face Santana. That didn’t work well so this year they went with rookies and back of the rotation starters and have found the key to success.

2006 Starter W-L RS RA   2007 Starter W-L RS RA
May 7 Mike Maroth L 2 4   April 29 Mike Maroth W 4 3
May 17 Justin Verlander W 2 0   May 11 Mike Maroth W 7 3
July 20 Jeremy Bonderman L 4 6   June 29 Justin Verlander L 1 11
August 9 Jeremy Bonderman L 3 4   July 18 Andrew Miller W 3 2
September 10 Jeremy Bonderman L 1 12   September 15 Yorman Bazardo W 4 3

Through this year, Tiger batters seem to step up when presented with a challenge and have surprisingly hard times when, on paper at least, they should have been able to step up. Case in-point: Edwin Jackson, who Detroit had a hard time cracking in two appearances.

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