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Tigers 3, Padres 1: Ivan Nova dominates in MLB The Show simulation

The Tigers also pulled off a lopsided trade following Friday’s game.

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!

Ivan Nova worked seven scoreless innings and the simulated Detroit Tigers won their fourth consecutive game, this one a 3-1 decision over the San Diego Padres on Friday evening. The Tigers also pulled off a lopsided (and possibly controversial?) trade with the New York Yankees — but more on that in a bit.

There wasn’t a lot of action to speak of in this game. The Tigers and Padres went scoreless for the first five innings, and recorded just three combined hits along the way. The Tigers drew a couple of walks and made some hard contact off Padres starter Zach Davies, but couldn’t break through.

That changed in the sixth inning. After Nova worked out of a jam in the top of the inning, Victor Reyes led off the bottom of the frame with a bloop single. Harold Castro, who had lined out twice previously, finally found grass with his third hard-hit ball of the game. His double advanced Reyes to third, putting two runners in scoring position with no outs. After C.J. Cron flew out to right, Christin Stewart hit a ground ball to first that allowed Reyes to score, putting the Tigers up 1-0. Jonathan Schoop followed with a first-pitch home run to left that increased Detroit’s lead to 3-0.

That would end up being more than enough offense for the Tigers on the night, as the Padres could not get much going against Detroit pitching. Nova generated plenty of weak contact early in counts, and was able to work through seven frames on just 71 pitches. His only real tight spot came in the sixth, when the Padres put together a two-out rally. Juan Lagares singled and stole second base, then advanced to third when Eric Hosmer singled on a line drive that deflected off of Nova (saving a run, most likely). Nova stayed in the game, and recovered to strike out Tommy Pham — though his final two strikes were borderline calls at best.

With both Joe Jimenez and Buck Farmer unavailable after heavy workloads during the previous series, the Tigers had to dig deep into their bullpen to pull this one out. Gregory Soto worked a scoreless eighth, then stayed in to face Hosmer to lead off the ninth. Soto struck out the Padres’ high-priced first baseman, then induced a lazy fly out from Pham. Soto ran into trouble after that, however. He walked Fernando Tatis Jr., then gave up a seeing-eye single to Manny Machado. Another single — this one off the bat of lefty Josh Naylor — ended Soto’s evening. Anthony Castro came on and retired Wil Myers for the final out, earning his first career save.

Roster moves!

Following Friday’s game, the simulated Tigers made a trade with the New York Yankees. Heading to New York is outfielder Jorge Bonifacio, who was tearing up Triple-A Toledo in the early season. In return, the Tigers received outfielder Clint Frazier.


I consulted with our Twitter followers before executing the deal — I had to decide on the trade before saving the game — and, while it’s not even remotely realistic, the responses were unanimously in favor of the trade.

Here’s where you come in; the Tigers need to clear a roster spot to make room for Frazier, so we need to choose who to send down. Here are the likely candidates:

  • Dawel Lugo: 5-for-18 (.278) with two doubles in six games
  • Harold Castro: Batting .200/.280/.267 with three doubles in 12 games, but coming off a strong performance on Friday
  • Rony Garcia: Sporting a 10.57 ERA with eight strikeouts and one walk through 7 23 innings
  • Either Tyler Alexander or Gregory Soto: The Tigers have not faced many lefty-heavy lineups yet, and will likely not need two lefties out of the bullpen in their next couple series (Yankees, Royals)
  • JaCoby Jones: Batting .143/.226/.179 in nine games

If you want to dive further into the stats, the full numbers for our simulation are here.


Who should the (sim) Tigers send down to the minors?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Dawel Lugo
    (11 votes)
  • 13%
    Harold Castro
    (18 votes)
  • 24%
    Rony Garcia
    (31 votes)
  • 6%
    Tyler Alexander
    (9 votes)
  • 6%
    Gregory Soto
    (8 votes)
  • 39%
    JaCoby Jones
    (51 votes)
  • 0%
    (1 vote)
129 votes total Vote Now