When we talked about players who absolutely clobber the Detroit Tigers, you can think of a few names that we brought up last August. Players like Whit Merrifield and Jose Ramirez came to mind.
Thankfully in 2020, the shortened season allowed us to only see a few of these players limit their damage against Tigers pitching. For Detroit to be competitive this season, there are a few bats that they will need to neutralize. But before we get to the bats, let’s take a look back at a few players who have had some success against Detroit during the Wild-Card era (1995-2020)
Remember Joe Mays?
In 2001, right-hander Joe Mays was an All-Star for the Twins. In what was the best season of his career, he would throw a career-high in innings, (233.2) wins, (17) and ERA. (3.16)
Of those 17 wins, 5 of them came off Detroit. Mays was 5-0 with an ERA of 0.98 in 46 innings pitched. He allowed 29 hits and gave up only one home run. Combine that with Brad Radke’s 4-0 record, Mays and Radke went undefeated against Detroit.
One of the greatest Rule 5 picks of all time, Santana’s season against the 2006 squad was impressive. Detroit managed just to put up a slash line of .190/.258/.339 with 46 strikeouts in 33.2 innings pitched. His only loss was Vance Wilson would hit a two-run home run off Santana in the 8th to give Detroit the 2-0 win. In the loss, Santana would strikeout 12. The pitcher who won the game for the Tigers? Justin Verlander, who scattered six hits in eight shutout innings.
In 77 plate appearances over 18 games against the Tigers in their first season at Comerica Park, Justice had 10 home runs, which is tied with one other player that we will discuss later, for most home runs against Detroit during the Wild-Card era in one season. While Justice was a fine player, it was the last name I was expecting to see here.
Without further delay, let’s start with a team from the South Side.