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 fell flat on Saturday after the excitement of Casey Mize’s debut on Friday, losing a dull 3-1 affair to the Tampa Bay Rays at Comerica Park. Ivan Nova, starting in place of an injured Michael Fulmer, worked seven solid innings, but took the loss after his offense managed just four hits.
The Tigers actually scored first in this one. After going quietly against Rays starter Tyler Glasnow in the first two frames, Jeimer Candelario got his club on the board in the third with a solo home run, his 10th of the season. The Rays answered quickly, however, in the form of a Jose Martinez solo shot that tied the game in the top of the fourth.
The Rays added runs in the fifth and sixth. Former Tigers prospect Willy Adames got the rally started in the fifth with a single, then moved to third base on a Daniel Robertson single. Catcher Michael Perez plated Adames on a sacrifice fly to give his club a 2-1 lead. Martinez then led off the sixth with a triple to the deepest part of Comerica Park, and scored on a Hunter Renfroe groundout later in the frame.
Meanwhile, the Tigers offense was largely silent for most of the afternoon. They managed just four hits and three walks in total, and struck out 14 times against Rays pitching. They drove Glasnow’s pitch count up and knocked him out of the game after just five innings, but Trevor Richards struck out five hitters in two innings to bridge the gap to the back of Tampa’s bullpen.
Detroit’s best chance to score again came in the eighth, when Nick Anderson walked two Tigers hitters, then uncorked a wild pitch to move both of them into scoring position. But Miguel Cabrera could not get around on an elevated fastball, and struck out to end the threat.
While Fulmer was unable to start this game due to a minor injury — the game said both hamstring and elbow at points, so I’m not sure — he was deemed fully healthy after the game.