Phillies shut down Kyle Kendrick due to lingering shoulder issue

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The Phillies have shut down Kyle Kendrick for the remainder of the season, reports Chris Branch of the News Journal. Veteran journeyman Zach Miner, who has filled in for Kendrick once already on Wednesday, will take Kendrick’s remaining starts. The Phillies have “TBA” listed for Tuesday’s start against the Marlins. Assuming Miner starts then, he would be on track to pitch the final game of the season in Atlanta against the Braves as well.

Kendrick, dealing with tendinitis in his shoulder, last pitched a week ago, allowing six runs in four and one-third innings against the Nationals. He had an MRI on Tuesday after which the Phillies figured he would be able to make two more starts before the end of the season, but they decided to play it safe and shut him down rather than risk further damage. Kendrick will finish with a 4.70 ERA in 30 starts spanning 182 innings.

After impressing the club in each of the past two seasons — in 2011 as a swing-man; last year as a new-and-improved starter — and posting good numbers in the first half of 2013 (3.68 ERA), Kendrick’s second half has been abysmal (6.91 ERA). The timing couldn’t have been worse for the Phillies as he will enter his fourth and final year of arbitration after earning $4.5 million this season. During the off-season, GM Ruben Amaro will have to decide between non-tendering Kendrick, or keeping him around at a salary likely between $5-6 million. As the Phillies will also be weighing the pros and cons of keeping Roy Halladay around, Kendrick may prove superfluous in the team’s 2014 plans.

Max Scherzer, with broken nose, strikes out 10 Phillies over seven shutout innings

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Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.

Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.

Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.

Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.