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!
Matthew Boyd struck out 13 hitters in a complete game effort, and the simulated Detroit Tigers offense exploded for 11 early runs in a lopsided 11-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday afternoon.
This one was over quickly. Jeimer Candelario took White Sox starter Dallas Keuchel deep in the first inning to put the Tigers on the board, and the Detroit offense sent Keuchel packing with just one out in the second. Cameron Maybin led off the inning with a single, and Clint Frazier walked before Grayson Greiner drove both runners in with a double to the wall in left. Dawel Lugo and Victor Reyes added two more singles to load the bases before Keuchel finally retired a batter in the second, a weak pop out from Candelario.
Things were already bad for the White Sox, down 3-0 at that point, but they quickly got worse. Miguel Cabrera drew a bases loaded walk, and C.J. Cron ended Keuchel’s day with a grand slam off the batter’s eye in center field. Dylan Cease came on in relief to stop the bleeding for a couple of frames, but gave up three more runs in the fourth. Cabrera singled and Cron walked with no outs, and Niko Goodrum delivered the big blow with a three-run homer, his 15th of the year.
Meanwhile, the White Sox offense didn’t even put the ball in play against Boyd until the third inning, as the Tigers’ ace struck out the first seven batters he faced. Boyd also held the White Sox without a baserunner until the fifth, when Edwin Encarnacion took him deep for a solo home run. But by that point, Boyd already had nine strikeouts on his ledger, and the Tigers were ahead by 10 runs.
There wasn’t much to write home about after Encarnacion’s homer. Boyd continued to dominate, striking out four more hitters over his final four innings, and neither side did much offensively until the Sox plated a couple of meaningless runs in the ninth. But despite allowing three hits in his final frame, Boyd was able to cap off the complete game, his first of the season.
Thursday’s game marked the halfway point of the simulated season. The Tigers are 43-38 after 81 games, 6 1⁄2 games behind the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central and three games behind Cleveland for the second AL Wild Card spot.
MLB The Show Simulation - AL Central Standings
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