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!
The simulated Detroit Tigers fell behind early, and let a comeback attempt slip away in a wild 8-7 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Monday evening. Detroit starter Matthew Boyd was knocked around for the first time this season, but it was reliever Jose Cisnero who took the loss after the Tigers came back to tie the game in the seventh.
From the start, it seemed as if the Royals had Boyd’s number. Adalberto Mondesi hammered the first pitch Boyd threw foul down the left field line, and things didn’t get much better from there. Maikel Franco hit a two-run homer with two outs in the second inning to put Kansas City up 2-0, and the Royals added more runs in the third and fourth.
The fourth inning was particularly frustrating for Boyd and the Tigers. After Boyd retired the first two hitters of the frame, the Royals followed with four consecutive singles, none of them hit particularly hard. One potential inning-ending play glance off of C.J. Cron’s glove at first, but the others all just barely eluded Tiger leather. By the time Boyd recorded the final out, the Royals had stretched their lead to 5-1.
The Tigers added runs here and there — maintaining proper social distance, if you will — to ensure the game didn’t get out of hand. Christin Stewart tripled and scored on an RBI groundout in the third, and Niko Goodrum followed the same formula in the fifth. Cron added a solo home run in the sixth (his fourth of the season) to bring the score to 5-3, but the Royals added a tally off reliever Gregory Soto in the bottom of the frame to stretch their lead back to three runs.
While it once again seemed like the game was going off the rails, the Tigers struck back in the seventh to tie the score. Goodrum led off the inning with a walk, but was thrown out at third on a baserunning gaffe when Christin Stewart lined a pitch into the left field corner. Austin Romine followed with a one-out single, and Jeimer Candelario walked to load the bases. Reliever Josh Staumont nearly escaped damage when he induced a weak fly ball from Victor Reyes for the second out of the frame, but Cameron Maybin came through with the big knock, a bases-clearing triple to tie the game at 6.
Unfortunately, this did not last long. Jose Cisnero, who came on to get the final out in the sixth, walked Salvador Perez with one out, then surrendered an RBI triple to Maikel Franco that put the Royals back in front. Ryan O’Hearn singled home Franco for an insurance run the Royals would ultimately need; Austin Romine hit a solo homer in the ninth to bring the Tigers within one, but closer Tim Hill worked around that to retire the side in the ninth for his second save of the year.
I will try to crowdsource these in the future, but the simulated Tigers made their first roster move of the season on Monday. Jose Cisnero was optioned to Triple-A following his rough outing. Righthanders Shao-Ching Chiang and Anthony Castro were called up to the majors to take Cisnero’s place. In order to make room for Chiang on the 40-man roster, the simulated Tigers designated Jordy Mercer for assignment.
Why Chiang? To be honest, it’s because he’s one of the highest-rated pitchers in the entire Tigers organization in MLB The Show, at 77 overall. His in-game morale (he’s not happy about his role and contract) have dropped him to a 72... which is still better than two starters and almost everyone in the bullpen.
The minor league season is scheduled to kick off on Thursday, which means simulated debuts for Casey Mize, Matt Manning, and all of the other top prospects in the Tigers system. I don’t know if I have it in me to play and record those games as well, but is there anything in particular you want to see from the minor league side of this simulation?
I already posted this question on Twitter, but with the schedule now moving to night games, I’d like to see when people would prefer our videos to go live. So far, I have been publishing the videos when they are ready — not always right at game time, but generally in the early afternoon — then writing a recap later on. If you are enjoying this series, is this formula working? Would you rather just see the video and recap go up at the same time? Should they continue to be posted around game time? Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.
What part(s) of our sim should be published at game time?
This poll is closed
Both at same time
Both earlier in the day