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Grip on Sports: If you are keeping track, the M’s James Paxton is still undefeated

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher James Paxton throws to the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 20, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher James Paxton throws to the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 20, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • There is a term in finance called “reverting to the mean.” No, it doesn’t have anything to do with cowardly people. But we did see its baseball equivalent last night in Oakland. At least it seems that way. Read on.


• The Seattle Times has a feature on its website called “Mariners win tracker.” So I’m wondering. Does it only show up about 70 times this season? Or is it going to be there after night’s like the one just past.

We kid. The M’s will win at least 75 games. Maybe even more. 

But not if their centerfielder allows a routine single to bounce through his legs and to the warning track, as happened to Leonys Martin last night. (Thank goodness Martin is hitting the cover off the ball to make up for such a defensive lapse. Wait, he’s hitting .118.)

Or if James Paxton, who is the guy most mean-reverting last night, loses his command of his breaking ball as he did against the A’s in the 9-6 loss.

Paxton had been near-perfect to start the season and stretched his scoreless streak to 23 innings. But then the big left-hander seemed to lose his feel for the zone, missing spots, first off the plate and then to the barrel of the Oakland bats.

It happens.

It’s why the term we mentioned was invented.

• A quick personal note.

I am headed to the Seattle area this weekend for a couple days enjoying the precipitation. In preparation for the trip, I pulled out my trusty Mac Book Pro, the computer I use on the road to prepare this feature.

Except it wasn’t all that trusty.

After loading the needed software updates (it’s been a while since I’ve left home), I had trouble accessing the Internet, getting Word to load, you know, all those sort of important things.

So we’ll see how it goes tomorrow morning. And Sunday. If you come here and my usual column doesn’t exist, it’s probably because I’ve thrown my computer against the wall of the hotel room.


WSU: Jacob Thorpe delves into a couple of football items today, one of substance – a feature on offensive lineman B.J. Salmonson – and one a little less so – a story on the new uniforms. … Around the Pac-12, Washington fans will only have one more season of listening to the voice of Bob Rondeau. He’s retiring. … UCLA is trying to find a backup quarterback. … Speaking of quarterbacks, California is trying to find one to replace NFL-bound Davis Webb. … Oregon has a punting battle. … Utah’s spring was just fine for coach Kyle Whittingham. … On the basketball front, Oregon may lose another player, UCLA has lost one for sure and Lorenzo Romar met the media in Arizona.

Gonzaga: If you harbored any faint glimmer of hope Zach Collins would return, extinguish it. He’s signed with an agent. Jim Meehan has that story. … Incoming freshman guard Jesse Wade is back from his LDS mission and is catching up with the doings of his family. … Graduated senior Kiara Kudron will make a tour of China with an all-star team. … Portland has been busy on the recruiting trail.

EWU: Jim Allen looks at the linebacker spot in his preview story today. … The Eagles will have a longer scrimmage Saturday. … Beau Baldwin is already making his mark at California and the season is still months away.

Mariners: The M’s defeat drops their road record to 1-7. That and more are covered in Dave Nichols’ Mariners Log. I’ve added the links to the bottom.

Seahawks: The NFL released the 2017 schedule yesterday, with the Hawks getting their usual long road trips and prime-time appearances. … Yes, Richard Sherman can be had, according to general manager John Schneider. But the price is so high Schneider doesn’t think it will happen. … This is a key draft for the Hawks.


• Let’s hope my road computer stands up to the test. By the way, the Times' feature allows you to project the M's win total throughout the season. Right now it is 70. Until later …