Braves tie it up against Dodgers in Game 4 of NLDS

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The Dodgers stormed out to an early 2-0 lead against Freddy Garcia behind a pair of solo homers from Carl Crawford, but the Braves are fighting back against Clayton Kershaw. With an assist from the Dodgers’ defense, anyway.

After Freddie Freeman singled to lead off the top of the fourth inning, Adrian Gonzalez made a throwing error on a grounder from Evan Gattis. Kershaw then threw a wild pitch which allowed Freeman and Gattis to move up a base. The southpaw recovered to strike out Brian McCann looking, but then he gave up a run-scoring single to Chris Johnson. The Braves tied it after Andrelton Simmons hit what appeared to be a double-play grounder, but Mark Ellis made a wide throw to Gonzalez at first base. This inning will not go on the Dodgers’ highlight reel for the season.

We’re headed to the top of the fifth inning at Dodger Stadium with the score tied at 2-2.

Madison Bumgarner apparently hunts bears, too

Madison Bumgarner
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We welcomed “Mason Saunders” into our lives on Sunday, thanks to The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan. Mason Saunders is the alias of Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner when he competes in rodeos, something he’s done as recently as December (when he was still a free agent).

Given that one of Bumgarner’s other extracurricular activities, riding dirt bikes, resulted in a serious injury, many have been wondering how the Diamondbacks would react to the news that the lefty they inked to a five-year contract two months ago is roping steers in his spare time. It seems like the Diamondbacks just accept that that’s who Bumgarner is.

On Tuesday, Baggarly and Buchanan answered some frequently asked questions about the whole Bumgarner-rodeo thing. They mentioned that former Giants manager Bruce Bochy, in a radio interview on KNBR, slipped in that Bumgarner also hunts bears in his off-time. Bochy said, “You think, ‘Madison, you’re looking at signing your biggest contract ever to set yourself up for life and you’re going to risk it on the rodeo?’ But he’s got confidence. I mean there’s some stories I do know that he probably wouldn’t want me to share, with him bear hunting, and the tight situations he’s gotten himself into.”

As Baggarly and Buchanan explained, when Bumgarner — I mean, Saunders — is roping steers, he’s not taking much of a risk. They wrote, “The header and heeler don’t chase the steer around the ring. Each trial is more or less a one-shot deal and it’s over in less than 10 seconds. If the header or heeler misses on the first attempt, then no time is recorded.” Bumgarner has also said he ropes with his non-pitching hand. Hunting bears is an entirely different level of risk, one would imagine. That being said, no one seemed to be surprised that Bumgarner moonlights as a serious rodeo competitor. That’s likely also the case that he, as Bochy puts it, goes “mano a mano” against bears.