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Tigers 7, Royals 2: Detroit caps off home sweep in MLB The Show 20 simulation

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Matthew Boyd was dominant again and the Tigers jumped out to an early lead in a big win.

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 simulated Detroit Tigers wasted no time in sweeping the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. After a dominant win on Monday, the sim Tigers scored six first-inning runs en route to a 7-2 win over Kansas City on Wednesday afternoon. Matthew Boyd earned his second win of the season with seven strong innings on the hill.

Royals starter Heath Fillmyer seemed in over his head from the start. He walked leadoff hitter Victor Reyes on just four pitches, then allowed a bloop double to Harold Castro. Miguel Cabrera singled home both runners to put Detroit up 2-0 before cleanup hitter Christin Stewart popped out weakly. This was the first and only out Fillmyer would record. Cameron Maybin punched a single to the opposite field to keep the line moving, and Niko Goodrum launched a three-run homer over the right field wall to break the game open. C.J. Cron added a solo shot just three pitches later, ending Fillmyer’s day.

The day wouldn’t get much better for the Royals after that. Matthew Boyd didn’t allow a baserunner until Whit Merrifield singled with two outs in the fourth inning, and didn’t give up a run until Jorge Soler launched a harmless solo home run deep into the left field seats in the seventh inning. In all, Boyd gave up just three hits and a run in seven innings, with seven strikeouts and zero walks.

The Tigers immediately answered Soler’s blast with their seventh and final run of the day in the bottom of the inning. Jordy Mercer, who pinch hit for Cabrera in the seventh, hit a one-out ground rule double for his first hit of the year. Stewart advanced Mercer to third on a bloop single — Stewart was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double — and Maybin went the opposite way for his second hit of the game, scoring Mercer.

Rony Garcia and Jose Cisnero, the two relievers who combined to give up a 4-0 lead in Detroit’s lone simulation loss this year, worked the final two innings in this game. Cisnero gave up a solo home run to Whit Merrifield, who exists in both reality and the video game world to make the Tigers miserable.

Lineup notes

Though fatigue wasn’t a factor after Tuesday’s off day, I wanted to get more bench players into the lineup. Harold Castro and Dawel Lugo both made their first starts of the season, and both added a pair of hits. Jordy Mercer also got his first at-bat of the year, and doubled.

Here was the full lineup:

Victor Reyes - CF
Harold Castro - 2B
Miguel Cabrera - DH
Christin Stewart - LF
Cameron Maybin - RF
Niko Goodrum - SS
C.J. Cron - 1B
Austin Romine - C
Dawel Lugo - 3B

Before I get grilled, Castro has the highest contact rating against right-handed pitching (82) of any player on the team. He and Lugo both have great arm strength as well, so I may rotate them around a bit more than we’d like to see in real life. Castro can also play the outfield, which is helpful.

Simulation notes

Hey, the opposing team scored! I believe the difficulty meter is showing up on the side of the screen periodically during these videos, so you can track my/our progress as the season goes along. We finally reached a higher pitching difficulty in this game, which should bode for a more realistic sim going forward. Hitting-wise, we’ll see. I feel like I am improving rapidly on this side of the ball, so it may take a little while for the game to catch up. Facing Mike Clevinger and Carlos Carrasco in the next two games will help.