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. Or, you know, at least get them back on schedule. Now, onto the recap!
New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole appeared poised for a dominant outing early on, but the simulated Detroit Tigers broke through with runs in the fifth and sixth innings to steal a 4-3 win over the Bronx Bombers at Comerica Park on Thursday afternoon. Matthew Boyd picked up his third win of the year, and Joe Jimenez worked a scoreless ninth for his fourth save.
A win seemed rather far-fetched early on. Cole breezed through the Tigers lineup in the first two innings, leaving your esteemed narrator with rather modest aspirations for the game.
one inning in and my only goal is to get a hit— Bless You Boys (@blessyouboys) April 24, 2020
Fortunately, the Tigers didn’t have to wait too long for that. Grayson Greiner worked a walk in the bottom of the third to break up a potential perfect game bid, and Victor Reyes followed with a single later in the inning. Harold Castro grounded out to end the inning, however, leaving the game scoreless.
But for all the problems the Tigers were having with Cole, the Yankees were equally flummoxed by Matthew Boyd. The lefthander gave up just one hit through his first four innings, and nearly made it through the fifth unscathed as well. The Yankees had other ideas, though, and were able to put together a two-out rally. Luke Voit singled up the middle, and Aaron Hicks followed with a hustle double to put two runners in scoring position. Chris Iannetta hammered a Boyd slider down the left field line to score both runners, but was thrown out at second by a perfect relay to snuff out any further threat.
The Tigers didn’t take long to respond to the 2-0 deficit. Jeimer Candelario worked a walk in the bottom of the fifth, and Greiner followed with a double to the deepest part of the park in right-center. Cole struck out JaCoby Jones, but Reyes hit a two-out bloop single to score both runners, tying the game. After Boyd worked a scoreless sixth, the Tigers took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning on Niko Goodrum’s two-run home run to right.
The Yankees didn’t threaten Boyd in the seventh, but made things uncomfortable in the eighth. With Buck Farmer unavailable, the Tigers turned to Anthony Castro out of the bullpen. The rookie righthander gave up two hits to start the inning, putting runners at the corners. Castro induced a double play off the bat of Tyler Wade, but the runner from third came in to score, bringing the Yankees within a run. Fortunately, Gio Urshela hit a harmless fly ball to center to end the inning, and the threat; the Yankees went down 1-2-3 against Jimenez in the ninth.
I’m debating whether I will have to once again tweak the difficulty settings in the sim. I’m not entirely sure if the Tigers’ success in this series is entirely my doing — why Chris Iannetta is the Yankees’ primary catcher now is beyond me — but I might have to adjust if this recent hot streak gets too unrealistic.
The Tigers will kick off a three-game home series against the San Diego Padres on Friday. They are off on Monday, then head to New York for a three-game set against the Yankees early next week.