Fresh off a four-game sweep of the Mets, Kyle Kendrick and the Phillies open up a three-game set against Sergio Mitre and the Marlins tonight in Miami, where they will be without the services of ace starter Cole Hamels for Sunday's game.
Is it asking too much to feel good about the Phillies for more than 24 hours? Hamels has reportedly suffered a setback during his latest bullpen session, experiencing discomfort in his pitching elbow. Originally diagnosed with a mild elbow strain and on the disabled list since Aug. 22, the Phillies will shut him down for a few more days. Adam Eaton will take Hamels' turn Sunday. Hopefully, the setback is nothing more than a precaution, but it’s often difficult to make heads or tails of these injury updates. I’m inclined to agree the Phils are better served taking a little more time here, handing the ball to Eaton and skipping the start in the pitchers' park. Hamels told MLB.com the discomfort was "minimal," while assistant GM Ruben Amaro Jr. reiterated there is no sign of ligament separation.
In lesser news, the Phillies traded Russell Branyan to the St. Louis Cardinals for a player to be named later. Branyan, 31, who was acquired by the club on Aug. 9, homered twice for the Phils, including a game-winning shot against Washington on Aug. 14. He was designated for assignment before the start of the Mets series to make room for Chase Utley.
Tonight’s matchup: Kyle Kendrick (7-3, 3.89 ERA) against Sergio Mitre (5-7, 4.30 ERA). Kendrick will be looking for his third-straight victory. Mitre has an 8.22 ERA in his last seven starts and allowed seven runs and 10 hits in six innings Saturday against Cincinnati. Florida, tied for last in the NL East with a 58-76 mark, has lost 13 of its last 15 games, including eight of nine at home.
Elsewhere, Tim Hudson and the Braves host John Maine and the Mets. Maine has been struggling for two months. Los Angeles is at San Diego. Colorado visits Arizona.