Like many of our friends throughout the SB Nation network, we are simulating the 2020 MLB season with MLB The Show 20. While we are unable to stream the games as they would otherwise be happening, we will try to get ahead of the curve and post about the games on the same day they would have taken place. Now, onto the recap!
The Detroit Tigers continued their (simulated) winning ways on Saturday, shutting out the Cleveland Indians again in a 4-0 victory. Daniel Norris was stellar for the Tigers, striking out 11 hitters in seven innings while allowing just four hits. Christin Stewart boosted the offense with a pair of solo home runs.
At first, the game looked like it would be much different from Detroit’s 9-0 romp on Opening Day. After the Tigers went 1-2-3 in the top of the first, Cesar Hernandez popped Norris’ first pitch into the outfield for a single. Francisco Lindor singled with one out, putting runners at the corners for the heart of Cleveland’s batting order. Fortunately for the Tigers, Norris was able to dance out of danger; he struck out Franmil Reyes and induced a deep fly out from Carlos Santana to end the threat.
From there, it was all Norris. He gave up just two hits and a walk over his final six innings, and struck out 11 Cleveland batters in all. The Tribe rarely threatened, and other than Lindor who had two of his team’s four hits, no Cleveland batter provided much of a threat.
On the other side of the ball, Stewart got the party started in the second when he launched a Mike Clevinger fastball deep into the right field seats to put the Tigers up 1-0. Clevinger settled in after that, pitching three consecutive scoreless innings before Cameron Maybin doubled Detroit’s lead with a solo shot in the top of the sixth, his first in his latest stint with the Tigers. Stewart launched a second big fly later in the inning, and a single from Jonathan Schoop ended Clevinger’s day.
The Tigers added an insurance run in the seventh when Victor Reyes singled home Jeimer Candelario, who had reached on a double to the wall in right-center. Buck Farmer worked the final two innings in relief for the Tigers to close out the victory.
More simulation notes
As I mentioned after the first game of our sim, it may take a few days before MLB The Show’s dynamic difficulty finds the correct level. It seems to be hovering around the same spot already for hitting, but pitching is (clearly) still not there yet. If things continue to look too easy for myself and the Tigers, I may just bump everything up to All-Star difficulty and see how it goes.
Let’s make roster decisions together!
In a weird twist of video game magic, Michael Fulmer is 100 percent healthy and on our simulated roster. He is currently scheduled to slot into the fourth or fifth spot in the rotation (depends on if you really want to see Jordan Zimmermann start the home opener), with Ivan Nova sitting in the bullpen.
However, we know this is not the case in real life. I put it to a vote on Twitter on Friday, but will also toss in a poll here for you to determine who should be in the Tigers’ rotation.
Who should be the Tigers’ simulated fifth starter?
This poll is closed
Additionally, I will try to get feedback either here on the site or on Twitter for other roster moves, including trades, call-ups, and the like. Make sure to follow us on Twitter in case any of those polls don’t make it into these threads.
Want to join in on the fun? You can purchase MLB The Show 20 here.