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Tigers 4, Giants 3: Ninth inning magic propels Tigers in MLB The Show simulation

The Tigers scored three runs in the ninth and withstood a late Giants barrage to earn the sweep.

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 a while, it looked as if the simulated Detroit Tigers were destined for another frustrating loss highlighted by plenty of runners left on base. And while they still left nine men on base, the Tigers came though with three big two-out hits in the ninth inning en route to a 4-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

There wasn’t much to write home about for most of this game. Spencer Turnbull held the Giants at bay for most of the afternoon, tossing six strong innings. He only struck out three hitters, but generated plenty of weak contact by mixing his pitches well. The Giants managed just four hits against him, three of which came in the fifth inning, leading to the first run of the game. Pablo Sandoval led off the inning with a single, then moved up to third on a hit-and-run knock from Brandon Belt. Turnbull retired Buster Posey for the first out of the inning, but Brandon Crawford came though with an RBI single to put the Giants up 1-0.

On the other side, former Tiger Drew Smyly kept his old club in check by missing lots of bats. The lefthander struck out eight in six innings, and his lone run allowed was largely his defense’s fault (though it was somehow still charged to him). Cameron Maybin singled with one out in the second, and a throwing error from catcher Buster Posey turned a potential “strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out” double play into a runner on third base. Then, with two outs in the inning, Pablo Sandoval botched a routine throw to first base that would have ended the frame, which allowed Maybin to score.

The Tigers squandered a pair of golden opportunities to take the lead in the seventh and eighth innings. In the seventh, Christin Stewart drew a walk, and Grayson Greiner doubled, putting runners on second and third with one out. But Miguel Cabrera’s routine fly ball wasn’t quite deep enough, and Hunter Pence threw Stewart out at the plate to end the inning. Jeimer Candelario led off the eighth with a triple, but was left standing there as Giants reliever Jarlin Garcia calmly retired the next three hitters in order.

But the ninth was a different story. Christin Stewart singled with one out, and Isaac Paredes followed with a first-pitch RBI double to the wall that put the Tigers up 2-1. Greiner was retired for the second out of the frame, but pinch hitter Victor Reyes came through with an RBI double of his own to pad the lead. Candelario singled home Reyes for a third run in the inning, giving Detroit a 4-1 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.

As the title suggests, the Tigers would need all of those runs. Mike Yastrzemski singled down the left field line to open the frame, and Brandon Belt tightened things up with a two-run homer, his ninth of the year. Back-to-back hits from Rob Brantly and Donovan Solano put the tying run on third base with two outs, but Joe Jimenez was able to bounce back and retire Austin Slater for the final out of the game.


The simulated Tigers continue to hover just a few games back of the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central, just ahead of the Chicago White Sox.

AL Central Standings - MLB The Show Simulation

Twins 30 20 .600 -
Tigers 26 23 .531 3.5
White Sox 24 25 .490 5.5
Indians 24 27 .471 6.5
Royals 20 29 .408 9.5

Up next

The Tigers return home on Friday for a four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays, followed by a three-game set against the Seattle Mariners. After that, they will close out the month of May with a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks to kick off their second west coast road trip of the year.