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!
Jordan Zimmermann gave up a run in the first inning, but shut the Kansas City Royals down from there, and the simulated Detroit Tigers put up five runs in a 5-1 victory at Comerica Park on Friday.
For a moment, this game looked as if it would be a repeat of the past two days. Alex Gordon lined a Zimmermann fastball into the gap for a first inning double, and a pair of seeing-eye singles brought him around to score. Things looked a little bleak with two on and one out, but Zimmermann was able to escape the jam with minimal damage.
The Tigers tied the score on a Jeimer Candelario home run in the bottom of the first, then took the lead in the second. Jonathan Schoop led off the inning with a ground rule double, and moved up to third on a Jake Rogers single. Clint Frazier sent a hard grounder down the third base line, but Royals third baseman Hunter Dozier was able to snag it and turn it into a double play. Schoop still scored on the play, giving the Tigers the lead, but a promising rally seemed to be over.
The bottom of the Tigers lineup had other ideas, though. Dawel Lugo crushed a 1-2 changeup to the deepest part of the park, and JaCoby Jones lined another two-strike pitch into the right field corner, scoring Lugo to make the score 3-1.
It was all Zimmermann from there. He was rarely threatened by the Royals lineup after the first inning, giving up just four hits over his final six innings. Two of those hits came in the sixth, when the Royals mounted a two-out rally via a Whit Merrifield double and Jorge Soler single, but Zimmermann once again escaped the jam, maintaining his team’s close lead.
After Zimmermann snuffed out another mini-rally in the seventh, the Tigers put the game out of reach. Frazier led off the bottom of the inning with a walk, and Jones lined a pitch into the left field corner for his second double of the game. Frazier was thrown out at the plate on a perfect relay from the outfield, but the Tigers were able to mount another two-out rally for more runs. Victor Reyes tripled to bring home Jones, and Candelario followed with a double, stretching the lead to 5-1.
Though Zimmermann had not thrown many pitches, the Tigers bullpen took over from there. Shao-Ching Chiang worked around another Merrifield double in the eighth — even in video games, this guy wears out Tigers pitching — and Jose Cisnero went 1-2-3 in the ninth to seal the win.
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