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If Rockies, Cubs meet again, series will be ‘spicy,’ Nolan Arenado says

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The Cubs salvaged their road series against the Rockies, losing 6-5 on Monday and 10-3 on Tuesday, and winning 10-1 on Wednesday. The series had more intrigue that it seems at first glance, however, as the three games featured seven hit batsmen.

Tony Walters was hit on Monday. Kris Bryant was hit twice on Tuesday. Four batters between the two squads were hit on Wednesday. Nolan Arenado was hit on the forearm by a Cole Hamels pitch in the fourth inning and had to leave the game with a contusion. In the top of the seventh, Bryan Shaw hit Hamels. Then, in the top of the eighth, Anthony Rizzo was hit by Phillip Diehl and warnings were issued to both benches. In the bottom of the ninth, Brad Brach hit Wolters, but was not ejected despite the warnings.

The Cubs and Rockies won’t face each other again this season unless it’s in the playoffs. If that should happen, Arenado says “it would be a spicy series,” per Nick Groke of The Athletic.

Last year, the Cubs lost the NL Wild Card Game to the Rockies 2-1 in 13 innings, with Wolters knocking in the game-winning run.

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.”