A Grip on Sports activities: The M’s taking a primary step in a season of hope is an effective way to get the weekend began

A GRIP ON SPORTS • The Mariners’ run to the World Series started yesterday. Or, to be extra exact, they gained their opening day sport with nice pitching and a first-inning dwelling run.


• If that’s going to be the method this season, we’re good with it. At least the nice pitching half.

There is a motive Robbie Ray is the defending Cy Young Award winner within the American League. And it’s not as a result of the Blue Jays scored a ton of runs whereas he was pitching both.

He dominates the strike zone along with his fastball. A fastball that isn’t 100 miles per hour. How novel. Or throwback, in order for you the reality. In and out. Up and down. Fastball after fastball. A slider when wanted. And the occasional curve ball, certainly one of which accounted for the Twins solely run within the 2-1 choice.

The bullpen accounted for the ultimate six outs – it was purported to be 9, however Ray talked supervisor Scott Servais into another inning, during which he was good – and the M’s took over first place within the American League West.

Unless they start to hit higher with runners in scoring place, nevertheless, they gained’t keep there. The fly within the whipped cream yesterday was their lack of ability to get separation from Minnesota, regardless of a lot of possibilities. It’s simple to chalk it as much as opening day jitters and transfer on however we’re on a mission right here.

Make the postseason, finish a two-decades lengthy drought. That’s step one. It gained’t take perfection however it is going to take well timed hitting. And pitching. And strong protection. Two out of three within the opener? That’s simply tremendous.

• Our option to win this 12 months’s Masters wasn’t Tiger Woods. We’re not that sentimental. Or younger. It wasn’t Scottie Scheffler both, although the world’s top-ranked participant seems to be like an excellent wager this morning, as he begins the day 8-under par and 5 photographs forward of the sector. Thankfully, it wasn’t Jordan Spieth both, as he had a triple bogey on 12 and a double on 18 to overlook the lower by two strokes.

Nope. Our selection was (and is) Patrick Cantlay.

He might not be No. 1 on this planet. He might not be the longest driver or the very best putter or any of these issues. He simply appears to have the best make-up (and sport) to win at Augusta.

He’s 1-over coming into the weekend. By my math that places him 9 strokes behind the chief. That’s rather a lot to make up, certain, however Augusta permits that. Especially contemplating there are solely 17 gamers between Cantlay and Scheffler.

Scheffler could make Cantlay (and everybody else’s) play moot, after all, by simply motoring round Augusta National with straight drives, correct irons and constant putts. Or at present might be Cantlay’s shifting day, placing collectively a 67 or so to get again into rivalry. We’ll see.

• Minor league baseball, with crowds within the stands, is again in Spokane. A little bit sooner than has been the case for the previous nearly 40 years, however again nonetheless.

And the S-R pulled out all of the stops protecting it.

Dave Nichols lined the sport, Garrett Cabeza talked with the followers and Colin Mulvany’s images captured the essence of opening night time.


WSU: The baseball crew picked up its third convention win at first-place Arizona. … Elsewhere within the Pac-12 and school soccer, Jon Wilner has a mailbag within the Mercury News this morning and it contains his ideas on the Cougars. … Who will win the quarterback spot at Oregon State? … Oregon’s latest custom of high-end recruiting appears to be persevering with. The Ducks grabbed a five-star offensive lineman proper out from below Washington. … Utah simply must determine who the backup is. … Colorado will scrimmage at present with the offense within the highlight. … Arizona State calls its spring sport the spring showcase. OK then.

Gonzaga: The Zags proceed to dominate WCC baseball, opening a highway collection at San Francisco with an 11-3 victory. … Around the WCC, Gideon George is leaving BYU for the professional ranks.

EWU and Idaho: Around the Big Sky, Montana held its spring scrimmage off campus, with the defensive position dominating. … Idaho State is concentrated on offensive line execution.

Indians: Not solely does Dave have a sport story, he additionally has a pocket book from the 8-6, 10-inning defeat.

Mariners: Ray is on the highest of his sport, that’s for certain. … The M’s signed shortstop J.P. Crawford to a 5-year contract extension.


• What are you watching at present? If we might, we’d be sitting in entrance of our TV watching the Masters. But we now have different commitments, so the DVR is about. If one thing particular occurs, we’re all in Monday. Until later …

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