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 brought out the fireworks on the Fourth of July, pounding out 15 hits against Kansas City Royals pitching in a 9-3 victory at Comerica Park. Spencer Turnbull didn’t make it out of the sixth inning, but pitched well enough to pick up the win.
The Tigers struck first in this one, plating a pair of runs in the second inning. Jonathan Schoop turned on a hanging changeup and lined it into the left field corner for a one-out double. Niko Goodrum, who fell just a single shy of the cycle, started off his day with a triple that scored Schoop to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Jake Rogers doubled the lead just two pitches later on a sacrifice fly.
Things stayed that way for a little while, though not for lack of trying on the Tigers’ part. They stranded JaCoby Jones after a leadoff double in the third, then squandered two runners in scoring position in the fourth.
Jones got another rally started in the fifth with a solo home run to right field, his first of the year. Clint Frazier followed with a double, and C.J. Cron brought both Frazier and himself home with a two-run homer to left, his 27th of the season, bringing Detroit’s lead up to 5-0.
The Royals briefly made things interesting in the top of the sixth when they plated three runs, all charged to Turnbull. Adalberto Mondesi reached base on an infield single, and Alex Gordon moved him into scoring position on a single that just barely eluded Candelario down the third base line. A Whit Merrifield single brought home Mondesi, and prompted the Tigers to go to their bullpen. Shao-Ching Chiang retired cleanup hitter Jorge Soler on just three pitches, but Hunter Dozier blooped a double down the left field line. Both runners, in motion on a 3-2 count, scored easily, bringing the score to 5-3 before Chiang was able to get out of the inning.
Any hopes of a Kansas City comeback were quickly erased, however. Niko Goodrum led off the bottom of the sixth with a solo home run, and the Tigers put the game out of reach with a two-out rally. Jones singled, and Clint Frazier followed with a double to bring Jones home. Candelario followed with another double, bringing Detroit’s lead up to 8-3. They added another run to further pad the lead as the bullpen quickly closed things out for their second win in a row.
The simulated Tigers will aim for a series sweep on Sunday before heading out on seven-game road trip. They will kick off a four-game set against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday, then head to Houston for a weekend showdown with the Astros just before next week’s All-Star break.
Check out our full simulation stats here!