Jonathan Lucroy says the Brewers are better than the Cardinals

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Here’s Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy after yesterday’s defeat to the Cardinals, which dropped Milwaukee five games back of the Cardinals in the NL Central:

“They always play us good but I still believe we’re better than they are. I do. All around, player for player matchups, I believe we are [better].”

Objection! Assumes facts not in evidence!

The Cardinals have taken 10 of 16 head-to-head against Milwaukee this year. They were up two and a half games on the Cards on the first of August and since then they’ve lost seven and a half games of ground, dropping four of six head-to-head. If Milwaukee is better, they got a funny way of showing it.

In other news, Danny Espinosa is not impressed with Lucroy stealing his bit.

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.”