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!
Miguel Cabrera hit a walk-off grand slam off Cleveland closer Brad Hand to deliver a 5-3 win for the simulation Detroit Tigers on Friday afternoon. The Tigers, down 3-1 heading into the ninth inning, moved to 5-2 on the season after Cabrera’s heroics.
For a while, it seemed as if the Tigers were destined to squander this game away. They put a pair of runners on base in the first inning, only to watch Cabrera strike out, then Harold Castro run into an out on the basepaths after a Christin Stewart fly out.
Detroit’s fortunes worsened when a Jonathan Schoop error turned into an Indians run in the top of the second. Schoop booted a routine ground ball, putting Jose Ramirez on first base. Domingo Santana came through in a two-strike count, driving a double all the way to the outfield wall that scored Ramirez to put Cleveland on the board.
The Tigers squandered another runner in scoring position in the second, but broke through to tie the score in the third. Jordy Mercer walked to open the inning, and Harold Castro reached when he was plunked by a Carlos Carrasco slider in an 0-2 count. Carrasco’s struggles continued when he walked Cameron Maybin on four pitches, loading the bases with no outs. Cabrera followed with a deep drive to left field, but one that was caught at the warning track, leading to just a single run. Stewart followed with a walk to re-load the bases, but the Tigers could not capitalize any further, leaving the game tied at 1.
That wouldn’t last long, however. Carlos Santana tripled to deep right-center field to open the fourth inning, and eventually scored on a Domingo Santana groundout. It looked to be a short outing for Daniel Norris, who had thrown 66 pitches through just four innings with plenty of hard contact. Norris stiffened up after that, however, and needed just 25 pitches to get through the next three frames. His day, which looked rocky at first, finished up nicely: seven innings pitched with two runs allowed and six strikeouts.
Unfortunately for him, it looked as if he would be saddled with a hard-luck loss. The Tigers squandered several opportunities, and left 10 runners on base in all. That feeling solidified when Adam Cimber wiggled out of trouble yet again in the eighth and Carlos Santana homered off Buck Farmer for a Cleveland insurance run in the ninth.
That wouldn’t be the case, though. Austin Romine singled to open up the ninth inning, Castro drew a one-out walk, and Maybin followed with a sharp single through the left side of the infield to load the bases. Cabrera wasted little time after that, lining Hand’s next pitch into the bullpen for the win.