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!
Gio Gonzalez tossed eight innings of scoreless ball and the Chicago White Sox held the simulated Detroit Tigers to just three hits in a 3-0 Chicago victory on Friday evening. Jordan Zimmermann, who gave up three runs in five innings, was saddled with the loss.
Oddly enough, the Tigers put together a legitimate scoring threat in the first inning. Niko Goodrum led off the game with a walk against Gonzalez, and C.J. Cron moved him into scoring position with a sharp two-out single. But while both runners were stranded on base, it seemed as if the Tigers would find a groove against Gonzalez — eight of the nine players in their starting lineup are hitting over .270 against left-handed pitching this season.
That would not end up being the case. Gonzalez settled in after that, and worked the corners of the strike zone all night long. He allowed just two more baserunners in his final seven innings of work, and did not allow an extra-base hit. The Tigers made precious little hard contact against him either, often getting just underneath an elevated fastball for a lazy fly out.
On the other side, the White Sox did just enough against Zimmmermann. The veteran righthander breezed through the first two innings, but ran into trouble in the third. Yasmani Grandal beat the shift with a single to left, then Danny Mendick followed with another single — mostly thanks to Grandal’s sluggish baserunning — off the right field wall. A double play erased Mendick, but Yoan Moncada came through with a two-out single to put the White Sox on the board.
Edwin Encarnacion doubled Chicago’s lead with a home run to left in the fourth, and the Sox nearly broke the game open in the fifth. They opened the inning with four consecutive singles off Zimmermann, which amazingly only resulted in one run for the station-to-station Sox. But Zimmermann adjusted, and struck out Eloy Jimenez before forcing a weak grounder from Encarnacion to end the threat.
Unfortunately, that work to keep the Tigers within striking distance was all for naught, as they could not get anything going in the later innings. Even after Gonzalez departed, closer Aaron Bummer had little trouble setting the Tigers down in the ninth for his 22nd save of the year.
The Tigers have two more games remaining in their series against the White Sox. After that, they return home for a three-game set against the Oakland Athletics, followed by a weekend series against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Sox and Tigers will play 10 games against one another in the month of June.