WASHINGTON -

Kyle Kendrick

is out and it is uncertain when he could be back.

The Phillies will skip his turn in the rotation Sunday against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium to have Cole Hamels (12-8, 3.01 ERA) face Mets lefthander Johan Santana instead. Kendrick (11-8, 5.08) could pitch Monday against the Florida Marlins at Citizens Bank Park, or sometime after that.

Or maybe not.

"I don't know yet," pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "We'll take care of this weekend series and go from there."

Kendrick said he understood the decision.

"I haven't thrown the ball well," the righthander said. "I understand we've got 20 games left. We've got an extra day off and Cole has been pitching awesome, so why not? It's against the Mets, too. So I understand it, totally."

Kendrick, who said he would pitch a bullpen session tomorrow, is 1-3 with a 9.14 ERA (22 earned runs in 211/3 innings) in his last five starts. He has walked 14 and struck out seven. Opponents have hit .356 against him in this stretch.

"I'm upset at my pitching," Kendrick said. "I feel good. I've just been kind of two good starts, one bad. Not consistent. My arm feels good, my body feels good. I'm just not getting ahead in counts. I'm getting behind in counts, leaving the ball up, and just not being consistent. I can still finish strong, though.

"The thing is, I know what I have to do. It's just going out there and doing it. I'm going to get over it. I know I am. I've been through it before, just never at this level and in this situation. Once you get out there and you have those two good innings, three good innings, it'll come back. It's just frustrating right now, but when I get the ball again I'll be ready to go."

Victorino sits

Charlie Manuel

did not start centerfielder

Shane Victorino

last night because he has been "a little jumpy" at the plate.

Jayson Werth

played center field and

Eric Bruntlett

played right, marking just the second time in his career that Bruntlett had started at the position.

Victorino hit .143 (5 for 35) with a triple and one RBI in his previous eight games.

"They've been throwing him the slow stuff and he's been striding quick," Manuel said.

Heating up?

The Phillies' offense has not been consistent for much of the season, but there are signs that three-fourths of the Big Four -

Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard

and

Pat Burrell

- are heating up.

Rollins entered last night hitting .472 (17 for 36) with three doubles, a triple, two home runs, and 10 RBIs in his last nine games. Utley was hitting .396 (21 for 53) with two doubles, one home run, and five RBIs in his last 14 games. Howard was hitting .324 (12 for 37) with five doubles, three homers and seven RBIs in his last nine games.

Burrell was hitting .103 (4 for 39) with one double and two RBIs in his last nine games.

All four had hits last night.

Only a sprain

An MRI exam on catcher

Jesus Flores

confirmed that he sprained his left ankle in a home-plate collision with Utley on Tuesday, the Nationals said.