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!
Niko Goodrum hit two home runs, and the simulated Detroit Tigers hit four long balls in all en route to a 6-0 victory over the San Diego Padres at Comerica Park on Sunday afternoon. Michael Fulmer threw five scoreless innings in his first start of the season, and newcomer Clint Frazier hit his first home run in a Tigers uniform.
In reality, this game could have been even more lopsided. The Tigers jumped on Padres starter Dinelson Lamet from the get-go, but came away empty in the first inning. Victor Reyes led off the frame with a single, but was erased by a fielder’s choice. Cameron Maybin advanced to second on a wild pitch, and a Miguel Cabrera walk put two on with one out. C.J. Cron, batting cleanup with Christin Stewart getting a day off, grounded into a double play to end the threat.
The Padres wouldn’t get so lucky in the second. Niko Goodrum led off the inning with a double, the first of three extra-base hits for him on the afternoon. He advanced to third base on a fly out from Jonathan Schoop, and scored on a routine grounder to short off the bat of Clint Frazier. The RBI was Frazier’s first in a Tigers uniform since arriving via trade on Friday — not in real life, unfortunately — and put Detroit up 1-0.
San Diego’s lone threat came in the top of the fourth. Tommy Pham led off the inning with a double against Fulmer, giving the righthander his first high stress scenario of the afternoon. Fulmer responded well, retiring Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado on weak fly balls. A walk to designated hitter Josh Naylor put two runners aboard, but Fulmer induced another harmless fly out to end the threat. After Frazier hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth, doubling Detroit’s lead, Fulmer worked a quick fifth inning to put himself in line for the win.
Fortunately for him, his teammates made that happen. Shao-Ching Chiang came out of the bullpen and worked two scoreless innings, and the Tigers offense eventually put the game out of reach. Miguel Cabrera singled to lead off the sixth inning, and scored when Niko Goodrum hit a home run to right field, his fourth of the year. Jeimer Candelario followed with a solo homer in the seventh, stretching Detroit’s lead to 5-0. After Anthony Castro worked a scoreless eighth, Goodrum capped the Tigers’ scoring with a solo shot (his second of the game) in the bottom of the frame.
The Tigers are off on Monday, and will travel to New York for a three-game series against the Yankees starting on Tuesday. After that, they will play the Royals in a three-game road set over the weekend.