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!
Remember when the simulated Detroit Tigers stranded 12 runners on base in a frustrating extra innings loss? They doubled down on Monday, stranding 14 runners in a 6-5 loss to the Colorado Rockies at Comerica Park. Victor Reyes hit a game-tying solo home run in the 12th, but the Rockies took the lead in the 14th inning to clinch the first game of the series.
Before that, the simulated Tigers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead. Cameron Maybin hit a one-out double in the first inning, and scored on a first-pitch single from Miguel Cabrera in the next at-bat. After Jordan Zimmermann stranded a runner at third base in the top of the second, the Tigers went back to work against Rockies starter Antonio Senzatela. Niko Goodrum and Jonathan Schoop led off the second with singles, and moved into scoring position on a Christin Stewart groundout. A slow grounder from Austin Romine scored Goodrum to make it 2-0, and Jeimer Candelario added another run with an RBI single up the middle.
The Rockies started to chip away from there. Nolan Arenado led off the top of the fourth with a home run. Trevor Story immediately followed with a triple deep into the right-center gap, and scored on a groundout later in the inning. The Tigers added a run in the bottom of the fifth, but the Rockies immediately answered with a two-out rally in the sixth. David Dahl doubled off the right field wall, and Tyler Naquin scored him with a bloop double into shallow left field.
The game came down to a battle of the bullpens after that, and the Tigers came up short. Arenado hit a game-tying home run (his second of the night) off Buck Farmer in the eighth inning, while Rockies reliever Carlos Estevez was bailed out by a close play at the plate in the ninth. Estevez uncorked a wild pitch with the bases loaded, but the ball did not bounce quite far enough away from catcher Tony Wolters for Austin Romine to score from third.
After the Tigers left two more runners on base in the 11th, the Rockies broke through in the top of the 12th. Peter Mooney led off the inning with a single, and the Rockies followed with two inch-perfect sacrifice bunt attempts, neither of which resulted in outs. A Daniel Murphy groundout scored Mooney from third to put Colorado ahead 5-4, but Joe Jimenez was able to retire Arenado and Story to prevent any further damage.
Rockies closer Scott Oberg came on for the save opportunity in the bottom of the 12th, but those hopes were short-lived. Victor Reyes launched Oberg’s second pitch over the right field wall for his first home run of the season, tying the score at 5. The Tigers put two more runners on base in the inning, but Schoop’s hard line drive was snared at third base by Arenado to end the inning.
The Tigers left yet another runner in scoring position in the bottom of the 13th, and the Rockies capitalized on their good fortune after that. Raimel Tapia hit a solo home run off Joe Jimenez in the top of the 14th to put his team ahead for good, as the Tigers were unable to mount another comeback in the bottom of the frame.
The simulated Tigers’ bullpen has thrown 14 innings in the past two games, so it is likely time for a fresh arm to be brought into the fold. The most obvious candidate to be sent down is Tyler Alexander, who threw 3 1⁄3 innings in Monday’s game. I won’t insert a poll here, but let’s discuss who should be called up in the comments!
The Tigers have two more games remaining against the Rockies before a much-needed off day on Thursday. Matthew Boyd will start against Colorado lefthander Kyle Freeland on Tuesday evening.