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’ offensive struggles continued on Wednesday, but they pushed across enough runs to take a 3-2 decision over the Oakland Athletics at Comerica Park. The win was just Detroit’s third in their past eight games, and second in five tries against Oakland this year.
Ivan Nova, who took over when Matthew Boyd left the game with a minor injury after just four pitches, was the unsung hero of the night. He pitched 5 2⁄3 innings in relief, keeping the A’s offense in check. Oakland’s hitters managed very little in the way of hard contact for most of his outing, and it wasn’t until Marcus Semien and Khris Davis hit a solo home run apiece in the sixth inning that Nova showed signs of cracking.
Prior to Oakland’s two-run outburst, the Tigers took the lead in the fourth. Cameron Maybin led off the inning with a triple, his fifth of the year, and scored on a Miguel Cabrera groundout to give his club a 1-0 lead. The Tigers then proceeded to load the bases against A’s starter Daniel Mengden, but came away empty when Austin Romine’s fly ball to left field died at the warning track.
After Oakland took the lead in the top of the sixth, the Tigers answered quickly. Cabrera led off the inning with a double, and moved up to third when C.J. Cron’s grounder glanced off Mengden’s foot. Niko Goodrum was hit by a pitch in the next at-bat, and Jonathan Schoop tied the game with a fly ball just deep enough to score Cabrera from third. Christin Stewart followed with a walk, but Romine once again left runners stranded, this time popping out weakly to end the inning.
Detroit plated another run in the bottom of the seventh to take the lead for good. Harold Castro doubled to lead off the inning, and came in to score on a two-out single from Cabrera. But the Tigers’ recent bullpen struggles did not rear their ugly head in this one. Shao-Ching Chiang, Buck Farmer, and Joe Jimenez allowed just one combined hit over the final three innings, with Jimenez striking out the side in the ninth to lock down his 13th save of the season.
Our MLB The Show sim has taken a back seat to draft coverage over the past couple days, so the simulated Tigers are currently a day behind. They have one game remaining in their series against the A’s before a weekend set against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Check out our full simulation stats here!