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NL East: Phillies install new grass at CBP to help pitchers & defense

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NL East: Phillies install new grass at CBP to help pitchers & defense

The infield will play a little slower at Citizens Bank Park in Philly next season, as the Phillies have installed Kentucky bluegrass. The expected result will be beneficial to pitching and defense.

CSN Philly's Jim Salisbury got the details on the switch. CBP originally had Kentucky bluegrass before changing to Bermuda grass in 2012 for the Winter Classic.

Kentucky bluegrass can be cut to a higher height, which helps slow down the baseball on grounders. 

“It was like Astroturf last summer,” bench coach Larry Bowa told CSN Philly. “It was lightning. If the ball wasn’t hit right at you, you weren’t getting it.”

Will there be a noticeable difference when the Nationals play at the Phillies now? Probably not, but it will be something to watch given the Nats play there so often.

[RELATED: Former Nats reliever Matt Thornton signs with NL West club]

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Ex-Oriole Manny Machado homers off ex-National Gio Gonzalez in NLCS Game 1

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USA Today Sports

Ex-Oriole Manny Machado homers off ex-National Gio Gonzalez in NLCS Game 1

Sure, the Nationals and Orioles didn't make the playoffs, but that didn't stop a "Battle of the Beltways" moment from breaking out during NLCS Game 1.

Ex-National Gio Gonzalez started the game for the Brewers. In the second inning, ex-Oriole Manny Machado stepped to the plate for the Dodgers.

Here's what happened next:

If you squint, you can imagine the ball flying into the Nationals Park bullpen or the Camden Yards bleachers. 

And in case you're wondering, we have indeed entered the Twilight Zone. 

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Nationals get offseason started by acquiring righty reliever Kyle Barraclough from Marlins

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USA Today Sports

Nationals get offseason started by acquiring righty reliever Kyle Barraclough from Marlins

The Washington Nationals picked up righty reliever Kyle Barraclough from Miami in their first offseason move to rebuild the bullpen.

The Nationals said Wednesday that they gave the Marlins international slot value in the deal.

The hard-throwing Barraclough went 1-6 with 4.20 ERA and 10 saves in 17 chances, with 61 appearances this year. He allowed one hit in 36 at-bats in June, when he was chosen NL reliever of the month, but struggled with his command the rest of the season.

Barraclough's ERA ballooned to 10.24 over his final 24 games and he lost the Marlins closer's job.

He has a career ERA of 3.21 with 279 strikeouts and 134 walks in 218 2/3 innings over four seasons, all with Miami.

Washington general manager Mike Rizzo is in need of relievers after jettisoning Shawn Kelley and Brandon Kintzler late this season.

The deal helps the Marlins in their pursuit of top international free-agent Victor Victor Mesa, a Cuban outfielder who tried out for major league scouts at Marlins Park last week.

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