The Giants lost four games in a row heading into Saturday afternoon’s game against the Nationals. Sometimes, you need to get creative to get off the schneid.
Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper had doubled in the seventh inning against reliever Yusmeiro Petit to put runners on second and third with no outs for Wilson Ramos. After a first-pitch strike, Giants center fielder Gregor Blanco started jogging in towards the infield. Alertly, Ramos got Harper’s attention and told him to get back to the second base bag. Petit’s throw was a bit high but Harper would have gotten back safely no matter how good the throw was.
The Nationals ended up scoring three runs in the inning en route to a 9-3 victory, sending the Giants to their fifth straight loss.
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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.”