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Wednesday, April 24, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 52° Clear


Discuss: Why did the Red Sox go for two up by a couple TDs?


A GRIP ON SPORTS • The football jokes began quickly. More so than I’ve ever seen during or after a Mariners game. Of course, it was the first time the M’s had ever given up three touchdowns and a two-point conversion. (Cue rim shot.) Read on.


• Momentum. Yep, that was what the Mariners were supposed to have built thanks to Hisashi Iwaukuma’s no-hitter on Wednesday afternoon. Hah. They must have lost it somewhere over Dubuque. After the long flight to Boston, the M’s were blown out 15-1 Friday by the American League team with the worst record. (We won’t say the American League’s worst team because, after the past two days, we know who that is currently, don’t we?) We blamed it on the jet lag and Mike Montgomery being a little worn out. So how do you explain Saturday? Felix Hernandez was on the hill. The best the M’s have. He couldn’t get out of the third inning. He gave up 10 runs on 12 hits, which included three home runs. He stunk. So did the M’s. They gave up 22 runs, the most-ever in franchise history. They did score 10 times, which earned praised from Lloyd McClendon, who must have a taken a course at Pete Carroll’s “Mr. Positive’s Top-Notch, Only-The-Best, It’s-Going-Great Spin Academy” over the offseason. But back to Felix, who made me think of Vin Scully this morning. Scully used to cite – probably still does – some obscure reference to something out of the 1930s about the girl with curl, who, when she was good, was very good. And when she was bad? She was very bad. That’s Hernandez this year. According to Ryan Divish in the Times, in his wins, Felix has a 1.41 ERA in his 14 wins and a 2.12 ERA in his no-decisions. But in his losses? His ERA is 11.23. Forty-two runs in 33 2/3 innings in those seven games. If you were thinking about Felix winning another Cy Young, you can forget about it. His most recent stretch of games hase ensured that. Starting in late July against Arizona, Felix has given up 7, 4, 2 and 10 earned runs. His ERA has risen almost a point, from 2.69 to 3.65, the highest it’s been this year. Like the M’s season, Felix’s award chances are done. There is just a whole bunch of games left to play.


• WSU: The Cougars stay in Lewiston will be done this afternoon, but not until they hold their first scrimmage of the new season. Jacob Thorpe is there and he covered Saturday’s near-walk-through-length practice with his usual items, including a story in today’s paper on guard Eduardo Middleton (pictured), a blog summary of what happened Saturday, interviews with Mike Leach, Clay McGuire, Cole Madison and Riley Sorenson, as well as a morning post today with links. ... The Vernon Adams saga seems to be continuing, what with more stories from Eugene concerning the transfer quarterback. But the most interesting thing to pass along today is John Canzano’s column in the Oregonian on Adams. It seems to imply Adams took too much time getting eligible on purpose and that will costs him the Ducks’ starting quarterback job. Hard to argue with the latter part of that sentence. If Adams doesn’t start, it’s more than likely due to Jeff Lockie’s edge in experience with the Oregon offense. But saying “he wasted too much time” passing his courses makes it sound as if Adams didn’t try hard enough. I’m not sure that’s the case. I don’t know about you but there were a couple college courses I never got past. Statistics for one. Beginning German for another. I tried hard in both but ultimately didn’t reach expectations. It happens. I passed stats, but it almost killed me. I dropped German because I couldn’t pronounce “Ich” properly and the instructor wouldn’t let me continue. Maybe the class Adams struggled with was his “Ich.” We know he took it three times. But he kept pounding at the wall until it finally came down. Yes, he’s late to camp. Yes, he missed summer. But if there is anyone in America that wanted to be there more than Adams, I would be shocked. I don’t believe it was a matter of, as Canzano describes it, he should have “simply taken of business and demonstrated more maturity.” 

• Idaho: The Vandals have a new volleyball assistant. That's just one part of our local briefs.

• Shock: A 14-0 start wasn’t enough for the Spokane Shock, whose season ended in Arizona with a 72-41 loss to the Rattlers. Was it Spokane’s last season in the AFL? We’ll see.

• Preps: Years and years ago – when I had hair – I was on a committee chaired by Hoopfest founder Rick Betts. We spent two-plus years meeting weekly and trying to get the political community to understand the need for indoor practice facilities in the area, an effort that failed due to a lack of interest from the powers that be and the construction of the Warehouse near Gonzaga and the Hub in the Valley. The demand is still there, though, and Greg Lee’s story on the Hub in today’s paper explains how the facility is trying to meet that need.

• Indians: Maybe the Indians are a team of destiny. They certainly are a team of late innings recently. They won in 11 again last night, thanks to LeDarious Clark’s speed. Chris Derrick has a game story and a blog post concerning the 4-3 win over Salem-Keiser at Avista Stadium.

• Seahawks: The worst part about the Hawks’ loss Friday night? It had to be the play of the offensive line, which looked lost – we’re talking about you Justin Britt – at times. ... Tyler Lockett’s electrifying debut overshadowed many of the Hawks’ flaws. ... How have the Hawks put together the league’s best defense? It starts with speed. ... Bob Condotta takes another shot at the 53-man roster.

• Mariners: OK, we covered most of the particulars in yesterday’s ugly 22-10 loss. The one bright spot? Mike Zunino ended his zero-for-August streak with a home run. Going into Friday’s game, Zunino had been on base – just on base – twice the entire month of August. ... Danny Farquhar was recalled and had a hand in the rout. ... A major injury may change the M’s September plans. ... How come the M's don't hit well with runners in scoring position? Kyle Seager doesn't have the answer.

• Sounders: The Sounders host expansion Orlando this afternoon at CenturyLink but you may not recognize the home team. There will be a lot of new – and returning – players in the lineup, though Clint Dempsey won’t be one of them. ... Former Real Salt Lake player Nate Borchers scored in stoppage time to give the visiting Timbers a 1-0 win last night.


• Sunday morning is upon us again. We’re about halfway through August. School will be in session before you know it. Until later ...

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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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