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 out-hit the Kansas City Royals 12-8, but stranded 12 runners on base in a 3-2 loss in extra innings at Kauffman Stadium on Sunday. Adalberto Mondesi recorded the game-winning RBI for the Royals, scoring Anderson Miller on a ground ball to short in the 11th inning.
The Tigers opened the scoring in the top of the second, when Jonathan Schoop lofted a Mike Montgomery fastball over the right field wall for a solo home run. Detroit’s 1-0 lead was short-lived, as the Royals plated a pair of runs against Tigers starter Spencer Turnbull in the bottom of the inning. Hunter Dozier singled with one out, and Ryan O’Hearn scored him with a triple to left, tying the score. O’Hearn then came home on an Alex Gordon groundout to give the Royals a 2-1 lead.
After a couple of scoreless innings, the Tigers came back to tie the score in the top of the fifth. Jeimer Candelario started a mini two-out rally with a double to right field. Niko Goodrum capitalized on the RBI opportunity, scoring Candelario with a double of his own to even the score at 2-2.
The LOBster fest kicked into high gear after that. The Tigers put multiple runners on base in three separate innings, but came away empty each time. The seventh was particularly frustrating. After stranding a couple of runners on base in the bottom of the sixth, Dawel Lugo led off the seventh with a single, and he might have scored had Candelario’s long drive to right not hopped over the wall for a ground rule double. Still, with two runners in scoring position and no outs, the meat of the Tigers’ lineup — Niko Goodrum, Miguel Cabrera, and C.J. Cron — was shut down by Royals reliever Erik Skoglund, keeping the score tied.
The Royals were not without chances of their own. Turnbull got into some trouble in the sixth after a Christin Stewart error put two runners on with one out. But Turnbull rebounded to strike out Jorge Soler and force a routine groundout from Hunter Dozier to end the threat. Shao-Ching Chiang then ran into some minor trouble in the ninth when Whit Merrifield singled and pinch runner Adalberto Mondesi stole second base. Chiang was able to buckle down and retire the next three hitters, forcing extra innings.
After the Tigers squandered away yet another scoring opportunity in the top of the 11th, the Royals came through for the win in the bottom half. Despite the lefty-lefty matchup, Anderson Miller led off the inning with a triple to right off Tigers reliever Tyler Alexander. The 25-year-old southpaw retired Nicky Lopez on a slow grounder for one out, but Miller was able to scamper home on a routine grounder to short* just one batter later, giving the Royals the win.
*I’m not entirely sure why the middle infielders were playing back in that situation, but I don’t know if the ball was hit hard enough for there to be a close play at the plate anyway.
The Tigers return home on Monday to start a three-game interleague series against the Colorado Rockies. Jordan Zimmermann will get the start for the Tigers against Colorado’s Antonio Senzatela.
More importantly, we will be hosting an open thread for the game, featuring the stream from our friends at Purple Row. PR’s Ben Kouchnerkavich will be broadcasting the game — a true sim, this time around — which will start at 7:15 p.m. Our sim (a separate game from the one featured in this thread) will go up later in the evening.