Brandon Phillips and Billy Hamilton saved the Reds’ bacon with fantastic catches

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As we mentioned in this morning’s recaps, the Nationals twice thought they had game-winning hits in extra innings last night, only to have the Reds’ defense take them away with fantastic catches.

First, in the 12th, Brandon Phillips made a diving catch to rob Wilson Ramos of a hit behind second base with a runner on third. If he doesn’t: game over. Second, Billy Hamilton robbed Anthony Rendon of extra bases and the game-winner in the 14th, allowing Todd Frazier to come up in the 15th for the two-run homer that proved to be the game-winner.

Watch these fantastic plays:

[mlbvideo id=”33003205″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name

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The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.

Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.

As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.

Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.

The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”