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 saw their four-game winning streak come to an end on Tuesday, as they left 10 runners on base in a 2-1 loss to the Oakland Athletics. Spencer Turnbull, who has gotten precious little run support in our sim (and in real life, frankly), took the loss despite throwing six strong innings.
The Tigers scored their lone run of the game in the first inning, at the time appearing poised for a big night. Victor Reyes led off with a single, and Miguel Cabrera moved him into scoring position with an opposite field flare. A’s starter Frankie Montas was able to retire C.J. Cron for the second out of the inning, but Jeimer Candelario came through in the clutch with an RBI double. Unfortunately for the Tigers, the sluggish Cabrera was held at third and they were held to just one run in the inning.
This would be the case for most of the night. The Tigers put plenty of runners on base against Montas, but were repeatedly turned away. They managed seven hits in just five innings against the hard-throwing righthander, and all but the aforementioned early run were left stranded on base. The A’s bullpen did even better, holding the Tigers without a hit in the final four frames.
On the other side, Turnbull and reliever Tyler Alexander were just as good as Oakland’s staff. Turnbull gave up a pair of hits to start his night, which put runners on second and third with no outs. Marcus Semien followed with what should have been a routine fly out to left, but the ball glanced off of Christin Stewart’s glove — the play was ruled a hit, for some reason — and leadoff hitter Tony Kemp scored to tie the game at 1-1.
But Turnbull settled in after that, and kept the score tied. Matt Olson hit a deep fly ball that was flagged down by Cameron Maybin in right, while Matt Chapman and Khris Davis both struck out to strand a pair of runners on base.
Oakland’s offense struck again in the third. Semien led off the inning with a double, and moved up to third on another Olson fly out. Chapman followed with a weak ground ball to second, but that was enough to score Semien from third for what would eventually be the game-winning run. Turnbull put up with a bit of traffic after that, allowing 10 hits in all, but most of the damage came in those first three innings. Tyler Alexander followed with two strong innings in relief, but the Tigers offense was unable to come up with another run.
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