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 won their third game in a row on Saturday, this one a 5-1 victory over the hapless Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park. Michael Fulmer threw five scoreless innings in his second start of the season, and the Tigers rode a four-run third inning to one of their easier wins in recent weeks.
Truth be told, this one could have been a lot worse. The Tigers managed 11 hits on the evening, and also drew five walks. They left 11 runners on base in total, many of them in scoring position.
The LOBster party started early. After Victor Reyes was retired to open the game, Cameron Maybin singled. Miguel Cabrera then followed with a walk, putting two runners on base with just one out. But Mariners starter Nestor Cortes Jr. was able to work out of the jam, striking out C.J. Cron before inducing a sharp groundout from Jonathan Schoop to end the inning.
The Mariners nearly opened the scoring in the second. Fulmer hit Daniel Vogelbach with a wayward slider to open the inning, and Carlos Gonzalez followed with a single to left, one of four hits for him on the game. A Kyle Seager groundout moved both runners into scoring position with just one out, but Fulmer danced out of trouble against the bottom of the M’s lineup to escape danger.
The Tigers made the Mariners pay in the top of the third. A single and a walk put two runners on base, and Cabrera came through with a double to the wall in left-center, scoring both runners. Schoop then singled with two outs, moving Cabrera to third. Jeimer Candelario came through with an RBI double, and an error by center fielder Mallex Smith allowed Schoop to score all the way from first base, giving the Tigers a 4-0 lead.
Fulmer retired the side in order in the third, but was again forced to clean up his own mess in the fourth. Mitch Haniger led off the inning with a single, and a Carlos Gonzalez double moved Haniger to third base. Seager drew a walk to load the bases with just one out, but the bottom of Seattle’s lineup faltered again. Patrick Wisdom struck out looking and Dylan Moore popped out weakly, ending the frame.
That’s as close as the Mariners would get. The Tigers added another run in the top of the sixth, which was answered by a Vogelbach homer off reliever Gregory Soto in the bottom of the inning. But after Soto escaped a jam, the Mariners managed just one more hit off of the Tigers bullpen in the final three frames. Righthander Bryan Garcia got his first MLB action of the season, throwing a scoreless seventh with a strikeout.
The simulated Tigers still have one more game remaining in their weekend series against the Mariners before a light week ahead. They will play a two-game set against the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday and Wednesday followed by a trip home to take on the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend.