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 hit three home runs and rode a strong performance from Daniel Norris to defeat the Houston Astros 6-2 at Minute Maid Park. The Tigers continued their recent trend of padding late-inning leads with a three-run ninth to put the game out of reach.
There was little action to speak of early on in this one, with both teams combining for one hit, but the Tigers took the lead in the third. Austin Romine singled up the middle with one out, but a Harold Castro pop fly fell between two Astros outfielders, and Romine was caught in no-mans land between bases for a fielder’s choice. But what looked like another strong inning for Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr. quickly turned into a 2-0 Detroit lead when Reyes hammered a hanging curveball to deep right-center.
That same curveball put McCullers in a deeper hole in the fifth, when Christin Stewart hit a solo shot to right. The homer, Stewart’s 10th of the season, put the Tigers up 3-0. This was plenty enough cushion with Norris on the mound, who cruised through six innings. The lefthander struck out four, did not allow a walk, and scattered six hits, most of them singles.
Things got a bit closer in the seventh when Seranthony Dominguez continued to struggle in his new uniform. The Astros started off the inning with three consecutive singles, none of them hit particularly hard, to score a run. Dominguez then walked catcher Martin Maldonado after a long battle to load the bases, forcing the Tigers to go back to the bullpen.
Fortunately, Shao-Ching Chiang was up to the task. The Tigers’ newest bullpen weapon escaped the threat with minimal damage on just four pitches; Jose Altuve grounded into a 5-3 double play, and Michael Brantley popped out to end the inning. Chiang also worked a scoreless eighth, knifing through the heart of the Astros’ lineup.
That would prove to be the Astros’ last real chance. C.J. Cron led off the ninth with a walk, then moved into scoring position on a groundout. Stewart followed with an RBI double to plate an important insurance run, and Clint Frazier hit a two-run homer to deep center just two pitches later to put the game away.
The Tigers have two more games remaining against the Astros — yeah, we’re a little behind — before reaching the All-Star break. With actual baseball right around the corner, we will likely stop posting MLB The Show updates on the site, but our sim will (likely) still continue on our Youtube channel.
Check out our full simulation stats here!