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!
For the second game in a row, the simulated Detroit Tigers scored all of their runs via solo home runs. But, once again, they were able to come away with the win. This time, they relied on strong pitching to take a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park.
As the score suggests, pitching was the story of this game. Jordan Zimmermann rebounded from a rough outing last time out to pitch five strong innings. He would have worked deeper into the game, but he was struck in the head by a line drive off the bat of Mitch Haniger in the fifth inning, and left the game. Later on, Zimmermann was placed on the 15-day injured list, and replaced on the active roster by reliever Bryan Garcia.
Seattle’s lone run came in the bottom of the fourth. Haniger opened the inning with a doubl down the right field line, and Daniel Vogelbach plated him with a single to center. But while this inning might have gotten away from Zimmermann in previous outings, he calmly retired the next three hitters to strand Vogelbach at first base.
The Tigers offense quickly answered in the top of the fifth, when Niko Goodrum launched a hanging breaking ball into the right field seats for his eighth home run of the season. Jeimer Candelario followed with a towering homer on a 3-0 count in the top of the sixth, giving Detroit the lead for good. Following Zimmermann’s injury, the Tigers bullpen — Tyler Alexander, Buck Farmer, and Joe Jimenez — kept the Mariners offense in check. Catcher Austin Romine chipped in, throwing out two of three attempted base thieves, including the speedy Mallex Smith in the top of the eighth.
Roster moves, and the upcoming schedule
With Zimmermann heading to the injured list, the Tigers called up Bryan Garcia from Double-A Erie to bolster their bullpen. Michael Fulmer will start against the Mariners on Saturday, pushing the rotation back a day.
The upcoming schedule also works out in their favor here. The simulated Tigers have off days on both Monday and Thursday next week, giving them plenty of flexibility when sorting out their rotation in Zimmermann’s absence. Boyd will start on Sunday, followed by Daniel Norris and Spencer Turnbull in the middle of the week. Boyd could come back and start again as early as Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays, with one of Fulmer or Ivan Nova starting after that before Norris and Turnbull are rested and ready to go.
But we’ll see if there’s room for a spot start somewhere.