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 exploded for five runs in the second inning, and held onto that lead for dear life in a nailbiting 5-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday evening. Matthew Boyd gave up just one run in 6 1⁄3 innings for his fifth win of the season.
First, let’s address the video itself. Somehow, part of the sixth and seventh inning was erased when I went to upload clips to Youtube. It seems to be the PS4 gods’ fault, as I can’t find the clip saved anywhere. Thankfully, the missing clip was shorter than I thought, and didn’t include any scoring.
Now, the game. The Tigers did all of their scoring against Arizona starter Zac Gallen in the second. Gallen walked three batters in the inning, including Boyd, and all three came around to score. Cameron Maybin and Niko Goodrum saw just one strike combined in back-to-back walks to open the frame, and Austin Romine plated them both with a home run to deep left field, giving the Tigers a 3-0 lead. Gallen retired Dawel Lugo for the first out of the frame, but walked Boyd after getting ahead in a 1-2 count. On the next pitch, Jeimer Candelario made Gallen pay with a two-run homer, his 14th of the season.
Gallen wasn’t long for the game after that. He retired the side in the second, but a Romine double to the wall with two outs in the third spelled the end of Gallen’s evening. Mike Leake came on in relief, and while the Tigers continued to put runners on base, Leake and the rest of the Arizona bullpen kept them off the scoreboard.
Unfortunately for the Diamondbacks, that early deficit was just a bit too much to overcome. Boyd held them scoreless for five innings, and stranded two runners in scoring position after giving up a run in the sixth. Shao-Ching Chiang surrendered a two-run homer to Nick Ahmed in the seventh, but Buck Farmer rebounded from Thursday’s rough outing with a scoreless eighth inning.
Then came the drama in the ninth. Speedster Tim Locastro led off the inning with a double, and scored on a Starling Marte single, cutting Detroit’s lead to one. Ahmed sacrificed Marte to second, putting the tying run in scoring position with one out. But Jimenez shut the door from there, retiring Ketel Marte and David Peralta to end the game.
I will start including a link to this in every recap from now on — way to get to this after nearly 60 games, Rob — but here are the full statistics from our simulation. I have not included hitting statistics for the pitchers, but if they continue to keep scoring runs in NL ballparks, I may have to go back and add those in.
After sitting out several days with a cold, the simulated version of Miguel Cabrera returned to action with five hits in Friday’s game. Additionally, Jordan Zimmermann was pronounced healthy after Friday’s game, and will be returned to the active roster.