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Game 24: Angels (14-9) at Tigers (10-13)

Ervin Santana (3-0, 2.67) vs. Nate Robertson (0-2, 7.48)

Okay, let's see if we can get through today without another network outage! According to Tech Lord Trei, we're still in "test mode," but everything should be in working order - at least for the SBN baseball sites - today. Fingers crossed, and good luck charms rubbed.

(Hello from Asheville, NC, by the way, where we're scouting out possible future living for Mama Cass as I slowly make my way back up to Michigan. The plan is to be in Lexington, KY by game time, so maybe I'll be able to participate in the GameThread tonight. Although Kurt has raised the point that I might not be allowed back in the state of Michigan, let alone open thread participation, as the Tigers have played quite well in my absence.)

After the Texas Rangers helped everyone in Detroit feel better about baseball again, we should find out how much of the Tigers' success is due to the Rangers' ineptness and how much is due to the actual improvement we've been waiting to see. But Detroit has also swept two straight series at home now, which might be something worth mentioning.

Amazingly, the Angels still insist on pitching Ervin Santana on the road, despite one of the scariest home-road splits you'll see from a starting pitcher. Santana's road record over his four-year career is 12-21 with a 6.92 ERA. But that could be old news, as Santana has actually won his first two road starts this season, at Minnesota and Texas, giving up just five runs in 13 innings.

Santana would be excused, however, if he still had nightmares about the last time he pitched in Comerica Park. I was actually in attendance that afternoon, so the carnage is particularly vivid in my memory. The Tigers beat Santana like a dusty rug on a clothesline, tagging him for eight runs in just 3 2/3 innings. Both Carlos Guillen and Gary Sheffield (neither of whom might be in tonight's lineup) blasted home runs, en route to an eventual 12-0 victory. I almost - almost - broke my rule about leaving games early that day.

But maybe I shouldn't be quite so boastful about this evening's match-up, as Nate Robertson has his own bad history against the team that comes to us from Orange County. Though his last start against the Angels was in Anaheim, Robertson was pounded like pizza dough nonetheless. Over 5 2/3 innings, the Angels scored eight runs and 10 hits, which took care of any "tough luck" laments for that particular game. Robertson has never beaten the Angels in seven career starts, posting an 0-4 record and 8.91 ERA.

Halos Heaven provides the SB Nation opposing view for this weekend's three-game series.