When the Phillies return home on Tuesday, they'll face one of the game's best young hitters -- one of its best hitters, period -- in a homecoming of sorts.
Mike Trout and the Angels arrive for a short two-game set at Citizens Bank Park, which sits about 40 miles from Trout's hometown of Millville, N.J. But the Phillies won't be focusing on just one hitter.
"What really impresses me is his poise," Phils first baseman Ryan Howard said. "He handled everything, including all them media there, really well. But we as a team need to regroup, pull together and get ready for the entire Angels team, not just Mike Trout."
The Phillies fell short of completing a sweep over the Mets by blowing a three-run lead and losing in 11 innings on Sunday, which probably made Monday a good time to enjoy a day off and look forward to a steady starting pitcher toeing the rubber.
The Phillies will turn to veteran Cliff Lee to open the Interleague series with the Angels, and although he's coming off a not-so-good start, there's reason to believe that was a one-time thing.
Lee allowed five runs in the seventh inning on Wednesday in Toronto in a 10-0 loss to the Blue Jays. However, in his prior six outings, the left-hander allowed three or fewer runs and pitched at least six frames in each.
The Angels are finishing up an oddly scheduled road trip -- they had four games in Toronto, a series that ended with a 7-3 loss on Monday, and two in Philadelphia. They'll barely blink and be gone in Philly, considering they have a night game Tuesday and a day game Wednesday before heading back out West.
Matt Shoemaker will take the mound in the opener, Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced on Monday. Hector Santiago was originally slated to get the ball at Citizens Bank Park, but he was removed from the rotation after seven starts and will pitch out of the bullpen. Santiago is 0-6 with a 5.19 ERA.
Shoemaker will now audition for the vacant spot. The 27-year-old is 1-0 with a 6.31 ERA in five Minor League starts with Triple-A Salt Lake this season. Shoemaker made three relief appearances for the Angels earlier this year, pitching 6 2/3 innings over three appearances for a 4.05 ERA.
Angels: Options at closer
Scioscia confirmed on Sunday that Ernesto Frieri and Joe Smith will continue to share closer duties for the time being depending on the matchup.
"If we have some matchups in the eighth, we are going to look at it one way, and if we have some matchups in the ninth, we can look at it a different way," Scioscia said. "I don't think anything has changed from what we talked about a week ago."
Ideally, Scioscia said, Frieri would be the ninth-inning man. But he also explained that the club needs to return some key relievers from injuries to provide the club with further depth before that happens.
Phillies: Rollins moves upward
Jimmy Rollins logged one hit on Sunday to move within 25 of setting a Phillies' all-time record. Currently, he's fourth with 2,210 hits, and he's behind only Hall of Famers: Mike Schmidt (2,234), Richie Ashburn (2,217) and Ed Delahanty (2,211).
Rollins tops the charts for Phillies' switch-hitters, both in hits and home runs (203). Double-play mate Chase Utley is also surging, batting .400 (8-for-20) during the recent road trip with four RBIs over four games.
• Starting Tuesday, 15 of 18 of the Phillies' games will be played at home. So far they've had only 15 home games, third fewest among the 30 teams.
• The games with the Angels are the last Interleague contests the Phillies will play until Aug. 5, when the Astros visit.
• Angels rookie C.J. Cron, who debuted May 3, has gone 10-for-24 (.417) in his seven games this season.
• Good news for the Angels? The Phillies, perhaps inexplicably, perform much better on the weekends than during the week. They are 8-16 from Monday-Friday, and 9-3 on Saturday and Sunday.