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Evening Shade: Cole Hamels to miss start because of illness, Yanks loss creates chance

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

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Some weekday evenings, the Stew looks at the storylines that will be worth monitoring that night. Feel free to discuss the night's action in the comments below.

Cole Hamels to miss start: The Phillies didn't specify what kind of gastrointestinal illness their left-hander is suffering from and it's probably better that we don't know. What we do know is that Hamels' start against the New York Mets on Wednesday night will be taken by Tyler Cloyd, a soft-tossing righty who had been scheduled to start at Triple-A Lehigh Valley before Hamels fell ill. Cloyd was named the International League's pitcher of the year on Tuesday after posting a 12-1 season with a 2.35 ERA.

Ground to be gained: With the Yankees' 8-5 loss to Toronto on Wednesday afternoon, both Baltimore and Tampa Bay have a chance to cut into the AL East lead. Joe Saunders will get his first start for the Orioles as Baltimore goes for three straight wins over the White Sox. Alex Cobb, meanwhile, is charged with helping Tampa Bay avoid a sweep by the Rangers. Cobb has allowed either one or no runs in each of his last five starts — all Rays wins — and will face Matt Harrison, who's aiming for the AL wins lead. (He currently has 15).

Carryover with the Cards and Pirates?: St. Louis and Pittsburgh will close out their three-game series in the shadow of the big Josh Harrison-Yadier Molina collision on Tuesday night. Both players are saying the right things before the game and vowed to put it behind them — Molina wants to return either Thursday or Friday — but we won't know for certain until the end of the game when both teams move toward their next series.

Ryan Braun's quiet stardom: There aren't many reasons to tune in to a game featuring the out-of-contention Brewers and Cubs, but the stellar season of the defending NL MVP is one of them. Our pal Drew Fairservice takes a look at how Ryan Braun is somehow underrated despite packing the biggest bat in all of baseball.

Fly high, birds!: Apropos of nothing, here's Chris Davis and Darren O'Day sitting in the cockpit of a 737 on Wednesday. The Orioles players were Southwest Airlines "employees for a day" as part of a promotion at BWI airport. Feel free to stage your own mini C-a-C in the comments below and quote "Airplane!" until your heart's content. Have a good evening, everyone.

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(Southwest Airlines)

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