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!
The simulated Detroit Tigers came up just short on Wednesday, stranding the tying run in scoring position in the ninth inning of a 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins. The Tigers stranded nine runners on base in all, and fell to their eight loss in their last 10 games.
As has often been the case during this rough stretch, the Tigers fell behind early. Daniel Norris worked through the first inning quickly, and appeared to be in control with two outs in the second, but Josh Donaldson hammered a hanging breaking ball over the wall deep in left field for a two-run home run. It was the first of three hits on the day for Donaldson, and one of 10 hits that Norris would allow in his outing.
The two teams traded scoreless frames for a while after that, but not for lack of effort. Both clubs left runners stranded in scoring position in the third, and the Twins had multiple runners eliminated by double plays after that. The Tigers made some hard contact against Twins starter Jake Odorizzi, but much of it pointed directly at Twins fielders.
Mitch Garver broke the scoreless streak in the top of the sixth when he hit his second home run in as many days. The homer extended Minnesota’s lead to 3-0, and, after another Donaldson hit later in the inning, spelled the end of Norris’ evening.
Though the Tigers eventually scored a couple of runs in the eighth and ninth innings, they will look back at the seventh and wonder what could have been. Jeimer Candelario led off the inning with a walk, and Jonathan Schoop followed with a sharp line drive to left. Unfortunately, it was hit directly at left fielder Eddie Rosario for the first out of the inning. That would eventually come back to haunt the Tigers, as they loaded the bases with two outs, but came up empty when Victor Reyes grounded into a fielder’s choice.
As mentioned, the Tigers were able to make things close in the final two frames. C.J. Cron hit a solo home run in the eighth to put the Tigers on the board, and Clint Frazier drove in Grayson Greiner with an RBI double in the ninth to bring his club within one. That’s all they would ultimately muster, however, as Reyes hit a weak fly ball to center, and Cameron Maybin struck out to end the game.
As we discussed on Tuesday, the simulated Tigers sent Rony Garcia down to the minor leagues. The game allowed me to simply option Garcia, as expected, which... I may have taken advantage of for the time being. We will designate Garcia for assignment, as he would have to clear waivers in real life before being offered back to the New York Yankees per Rule 5 draft regulations. Lefthander Tyler Alexander was recalled from Triple-A Toledo — I don’t think the game holds players to the 10-day option limit either — to replace Garcia on the active roster.