Astros prevail in first battle of 100-loss clubs in 50 years

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The Astros, of all teams, recorded their third shutout Tuesday and beat the Cubs 3-0 in the first matchup of 100-loss teams since 1962.

Houston handed the Cubs their 100th loss by winning 3-0 on Monday, setting up the historic matchup. Tonight’s game featured the same score. The Cubs fell to 60-101 for the season, though that still leaves them five games ahead of the 55-106 Astros in the NL Central.

The last time two 100-loss teams met was fifty years ago, when the Cubs played the expansion Mets at the end of the 1962 season. Those Cubs finished 59-103, while the Mets, one of the worst teams of the century, went 40-120.

The Astros also beat the Brewers 7-0 on Sunday, so this gives the team three straight shutouts. Bud Norris did the bulk of the work tonight, pitching six scoreless innings. The Astros are the third team this season to notch three straight shutouts. The Giants did it four games in a row in June, and the Braves did it earlier this month. It’s just the third time in franchise history the Astros have pulled it off. They did it once in 1974 and again in their NLCS year of 1986.

Report: MLB likely to unilaterally implement pace of play changes

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.

Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”

The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.

It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.