PHILADELPHIA, PA - : Starting pitcher Cole Hamels #35 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers a pitch during the game against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
It's been an absolutely fantastic season for Phillies lefty Cole Hamels. Through 25 starts, Hamels owns a 2.62 ERA, with a career-best strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.4. He's been a big reason why the Phillies are in their current comfortable position in the standings.
However, lately Hamels has run into some trouble. In his most recent start, he showed lower velocity than usual:
Hamels said he didn't feel any pain or discomfort, and chalked it up to dead arm. Still, the Phillies sent him in for a precautionary MRI, to make sure nothing was wrong.
On Tuesday, the results are back. Matt Gelb:
Hamels MRI showed inflammation in the shoulder. He will likely be skipped once in the rotation.
Whew. The Phillies will probably give Hamels a bit of a rest, but considering their current 8-1/2 game lead in the NL East, it's not like they're really playing for anything anymore. For the Phillies, the final month-and-a-half of the regular season is about preparing for the playoffs. If Hamels is ready in October, this injury is just a blip.