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 took an early lead, then put up five runs in the ninth inning to ward off a comeback attempt from the Los Angeles Angels in an 8-3 victory on Monday evening. Matthew Boyd worked seven scoreless innings for his ninth win of the year.
The game took an unexpected turn in the top of the second inning. Niko Goodrum led off the frame with a single, and Angels starter Andrew Heaney was pulled from the game with shoulder soreness. Righthander Matt Andriese came on in relief, and gave up a single to Clint Frazier, putting two on with no outs. Jake Rogers moved Goodrum up to third base on a deep fly ball, but Christin Stewart’s flyout wasn’t deep enough to score the Tigers shortstop. Dawel Lugo followed with a routine ground ball to third, but Tommy La Stella’s throw pulled Albert Pujols off the first base bag, allowing Goodrum to score the first run of the game.
The score held at 1-0 all the way until the sixth inning, when the Tigers padded their lead. C.J. Cron punched a single to right field, and Goodrum followed with a two-run homer, his second in as many days and 18th of the season. The 3-0 advantage proved to be more than enough for Boyd, who didn’t have his best strikeout stuff, but kept the Angels off balance through seven scoreless frames.
The Tigers went to their bullpen in the eighth, and things nearly unraveled on them. Buck Farmer gave up a single and a double to lead off the inning, and then intentionally walked Mike Trout to load the bases. With back-to-back lefties coming up, the Tigers went to Gregory Soto, ending Farmer’s evening before he even recorded an out. The hard-throwing lefthander gave up a single to La Stella, bringing one run home. Brandon Marsh followed with a ground ball to short that was too slow to turn for a double play, and a second run scored to bring the Angels within one. But with runners on the corners, Soto induced another ground ball, this one a double play, ending the threat.
But with Joe Jimenez warming up in the bullpen, the Tigers offense took matters into their own hands. Jake Rogers led off the ninth with a walk, and Christin Stewart followed with a single. A Dawel Lugo pop-up and Victor Reyes ground ball nearly killed the rally, but Reyes was able to beat out the throw from second to extend the inning. Jeimer Candelario delivered a big blow with a double off the wall, extending Detroit’s lead back to three runs. JaCoby Jones, who pinch ran for Miguel Cabrera in the eighth, continued the rally with another RBI double, and Cron added an exclamation point with a two-run homer to put the game well out of reach.
With the win, the Tigers are now guaranteed to have a winning record at the All-Star break. They have three games remaining in this series against the Angels before heading to Houston over the weekend to close out the first half of the season.
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