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 nearly erased a three-run deficit in the ninth inning against Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, but Clint Frazier’s fly ball fell short, and the Dodgers escaped with a 4-3 victory over Detroit on Friday evening.
For a while, this game was nowhere near that exciting. Clayton Kershaw was dominant from the get-go, striking out six Tigers hitters his first time through the lineup. They made a little more contact after that, but not much, and Kershaw ultimately fanned 10 batters in 7 1⁄3 innings. He only gave up four hits, and his lone blemish was a C.J. Cron solo homer that tied the game in the seventh.
On the other side, Daniel Norris nearly matched Kershaw pitch-for-pitch. The 27-year-old southpaw didn’t rack up as many strikeouts, but held the Dodgers to a pair of runs on five hits in seven innings. Los Angeles broke a scoreless tie in the fifth when Cody Bellinger hit a sharp ground ball that went all the way to the wall — video game physics, y’all — for a leadoff triple. After Norris induced a pop-out from Max Muncy, Corey Seager poked a double down the left field line to score Bellinger. Then, after the Tigers tied the score in the top of the seventh, Muncy took Norris deep in the bottom of the inning, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.
But while Pedro Baez was able to hold the Tigers in check after Kershaw departed in the eighth, the same could not be said for Buck Farmer. He walked Kike Hernandez, then served up a meatball to Justin Turner, who deposited it over the center field wall for a two-run homer, extending the Dodgers’ lead to 4-1.
The Tigers nearly came all the way back in the ninth, however. Jeimer Candelario led off the inning with a single, and Niko Goodrum mounted his own two-out rally with a two-run homer, bringing the Tigers within a run. Clint Frazier jumped on Kenley Jansen’s next pitch for another deep fly ball, but this one died on the warning track in left field for the final out of the game.
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