Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press
Published 9:43 p.m. ET March 26, 2020
Detroit Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd and wife, Ashley, weren’t looking for this cause. But ending sex slavery in Uganda has become their mission.
Detroit Free Press
Even in the virtual world, Detroit Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd has a home run problem.
At least, that’s how it appeared in one simulation of the Tigers’ 2020 opener against the Cleveland Indians, as the virtual Boyd allowed two homers (and eight earned runs) in the faux-Tigers’ 9-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians.
Strat-O-Matic, makers of a baseball simulation game that has been around since the 1960s (and has now mostly gone digital), simulated all 15 of MLB’s games that were postponed Thursday due to the coronavirus pandemic. To little surprise, the Tigers fell into a tie for last place in the AL Central with the Twins (who lost to the Athletics, 5-3) and the White Sox (who lost to the Royals, 5-2).
More on Opening Day
Some highlights from the Tigers’ (virtual) game:
• Boyd, who allowed an AL-high 39 homers last season, took the loss for the Tigers after lasting just 4 1/3 innings. He struck out five, but also allowed eight hits and three walks. The big damage was done on a Francisco Lindor grand slam with two outs in the fifth inning.
• The much-maligned Tigers offense managed just one run and 12 strikeouts, despite 10 hits. Every Tigers starter had a hit except for Miguel Cabrera – who drove in JaCoby Jones on a sacrifice fly for the Tigers’ lone run in the eighth inning — and Austin Romine.
• More bad news for Romine: The catcher, signed in the offseason, was injured in the seventh and will miss the next three games. (Digital Ron Gardenhire couldn’t comment on the nature of the injury.)
• The Tigers’ two biggest offseason signings, C.J. Cron and Jonathan Schoop, were solid; both had two hits, including a double. Schoop was up-and-down in the field, however; he committed his first error of the season — he had 14 last season with the Twins — but also robbed Cleveland’s Oscar Mercado of a hit in the first inning.
• Jones, who hit ninth, got on base three times in four plate appearances. He tripled and walked twice. He and Cron were the only Tigers starters not to strike out.
Strat-O-Matic will be running simulations of each day’s scheduled games throughout MLB’s hiatus, with results posted around 2 p.m.
Strat-O-Matic wasn’t the only simulation of Opening Day; the reference site baseball-reference.com, using “Out Of The Park Baseball 21,” ran the numbers on the Tigers’ opener as well as the 14 other games scheduled for Thursday.
Again, to no one’s surprise, the Tigers lost, this time by a 4-2 score. (The Twins and White Sox lost in this sim, too, to keep the Tigers company in the AL Central basement.) More from OOTP21:
• Boyd gave up two homers and eight hits in this sim, too, though he lasted 6 1/3 innings and struck out six.
• Every Tiger except for Romine struck out at least once. Romine was also the only Tiger to draw a walk.
• Cabrera went 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and — in the first sign that this simulation might not be quite right — a steal, somehow.
• Cameron Maybin kicked off his third stint with the Tigers with a double while going 1-for-4. He started in the outfield along with Victor Reyes and Christin Stewart — tough luck for Jones.
• Cron and Schoop each had a hit in four at-bats.
Baseball-reference.com will be posting daily sim results around noon each day.