Pirates, Cardinals both lose; NL Central still undecided

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The Pirates lost to the Reds 10-6 on Saturday afternoon on Ramon Santiago’s tenth-inning walk-off grand slam. That meant that the Cardinals went into their evening match-up against the Diamondbacks with the ability to clinch the NL Central with a win.

The Cardinals were unable to take care of business. D-Backs first baseman  Mark Trumbo did nearly all of the damage, homering twice and knocking in four, including a tie-breaking three-run jack in the seventh inning. The Cardinals mustered only two third-inning runs off of Wade Miley. As a result, the NL Central remains undecided going into the final day of the regular season.

If the Pirates win and the Cardinals lose on Sunday afternoon, they will tie with an 89-73 record and force a Game 163 tie-breaker to be played on Monday. Alternatively, either a Pirates loss or a Cardinals win will clinch the NL Central for the club from St. Louis.

Here’s what’s going on Sunday afternoon:

  • Pirates @ Reds, 1:10 PM ET (Gerrit Cole vs. Johnny Cueto)
  • Cardinals @ Diamondbacks, 4:10 PM ET (Adam Wainwright vs. Josh Collmenter)

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.”