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!
Last week, the simulated Detroit Tigers were able to scratch and claw their way to a hard-fought victory over Gerrit Cole, the Yankees’ big money signing from last offseason. To make a... well, short story even shorter, they couldn’t make it happen twice in a row. Cole struck out 13 en route to a 3-1 victory over the Tigers on Wednesday evening.
For a brief moment, it looked as if the Tigers were up to the task again. Christin Stewart poked a double down the left field line to open up the second inning, then moved up to third on a Niko Goodrum single. Jeimer Candelario drove in the run on an infield single, putting the Tigers up 1-0 with two runners on and only one out.
Unfortunately, they squandered that opportunity, and paid for it quickly. Giancarlo Stanton hit a solo home run off Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann in the bottom of the inning to tie the score, and Cole took over from there. The Yankees’ ace struck out 13 in all, and gave up just two hits over his next five innings of work. New York took the lead for good when Zimmermann gave up a two-run homer to Gleyber Torres in the fourth, his sixth of the season.
Despite the early struggles, Zimmermann had a solid game on the mound for the Tigers. He allowed three runs (two earned) on eight hits, and struck out six without walking a batter. He held the Yankees in check after the fourth, keeping his club within striking distance, and was efficient enough to earn the rare complete game loss.
However, the Tigers offense had no answer for Cole or the flamethrowing arms coming out of the bullpen. After Cole departed, Tommy Kahnle worked a quick eighth, and Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth for his sixth save of the year.
Those paying close attention may notice that I turned the dynamic difficulty back on for this game. I’m not sure if that was quite necessary when facing Gerrit Cole, but we’ll see if it turns out better than my last experiment with it earlier in the season.
The Tigers and Yankees will finish up their series on Thursday. Matthew Boyd will take on Luis Severino in the rubber match. The Tigers will then head to Kansas City for a three-game set over the weekend.