Ryan Howard takes full responsibility for Phillies loss

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He could be a little easier on himself and note that he didn’t walk the leadoff hitter in the seventh inning and that Yasiel Puig is a really damn good player who hit a pitch that was really a ball for the go-ahead runs.

But Ryan Howard did ground into a double play when he swung at a bad pitch with a 3-0 count, killing a rally, and he did mess up in the seventh inning when he fell down while trying to field a bunt. And after the game he said it was all on him. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports:

“I take full responsibility,” he said. “I’ve got to be better than that … Those are two plays, two key moments that changed the flow of the game,” Howard said. “It sucks. I’m upset I didn’t make that play. I slipped and I cost my team the game … I have to do a better job.”

Howard is in an 0-for-16 run at the moment and certainly didn’t distinguish himself last night. But it’s a pretty stand-up way to handle failure after a game.

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.