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!
C.J. Cron hit a two-run homer in the first inning, but the Detroit Tigers offense dried up until a late rally in a 6-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Sunday afternoon. Royals starter Danny Duffy settled in after the homer, and held the Tigers to just five hits in 6 1⁄3 innings to pick up the win.
Cron’s homer in the first opened the scoring, but the inning could have been so much more for the Tigers. Victor Reyes was retired on a sharp line drive to open the frame, then Jeimer Candelario drew a walk. Cron turned on a Duffy fastball to put the Tigers up 2-0 early. After that, Jonathan Schoop continued the two-out rally with a single. Niko Goodrum followed with what should have been a well-hit single up the middle, but the ball deflected off Duffy directly to Salvador Perez, who threw Goodrum out at first to end the frame.
Duffy was much better after that, and the Tigers were unable to follow up on their early success. He limited Detroit’s hitters to just two hits over the next five innings while his club clawed back to take the lead. The Royals offense had threatened for most of the afternoon to that point, leaving multiple runners on base in both the first and second innings.
Kansas City finally broke through in the third when Jorge Soler’s sacrifice fly brought home Whit Merrifield, who reached base on a triple to deep left-center. They took the lead in the fifth thanks to an Adalberto Mondesi homer and another manufactured run following a Merrifield extra-base hit, and maintained that 3-2 advantage until they were able to tack on insurance runs in the later innings. Tyler Alexander gave up a home run in the seventh, putting the Royals up by two, and Jose Cisnero was BABIP’d to death in the ninth, leading to two more Royals runs.
The Tigers made things interesting in the ninth, but their bullpen’s failings came back to haunt them. Schoop led off the inning with a double off the top of the right field wall, and Goodrum was able to hook a deep fly ball just inside the foul pole for a two-run homer, bringing the score to 6-4. But Scott Barlow came on to relieve Ian Kennedy and retired the side in order to pick up the save.
The Tigers will head out west for a four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels starting on Monday, followed by a three-game series in Houston to close out the first half of the season.
Beyond that, the post schedule for our sim will largely depend on MLB’s actual schedule, which is set to be released on Monday evening. If Major League Baseball sticks to their current plan and starts their season in late July, we will stop posting daily sim updates to focus on the real-life Tigers. However, I hope to continue playing and posting the games on our Youtube channel to finish out the season.
Check out our full simulation stats here!