As we noted in the recaps, Neftali Feliz imploded in the eighth inning for the Tigers last night, capped off by a Franklin Gutierrez grand slam. Of course the real problem there as not Feliz — a bad pitcher is gonna bad pitch sometimes and Feliz has been a bad pitcher late and in jams this year — but Brad Ausmus’ bullpen management which put Feliz in a position to fail. And, more to the point, put him in a position to fail with no chance of being bailed out by better pitchers.
Specifically, Ausmus had no one warming up in the pen during Feliz’s meltdown. This despite the fact that both Joakim Soria — who has had multi-inning saves already this year — and Alex Wilson — who has been effective — were both available. Nope, it was Feliz’s inning to sink or swim. Why? Here’s Ausmus:
That’s the reason Tigers fans are grumpy right now, folks. And it’s just latest reason why, for all of the talent on the Tigers’ roster, their season is skidding off the rails.
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.”