PHILADELPHIA -- In 2011, Joe Blanton was the forgotten man.
Much had been made the previous offseason of the signing of free agent Cliff Lee to bolster an already impressive rotation. Lee, Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt garnered most of the attention as the "best" rotation in baseball.
Despite the best efforts of those four, Blanton continued to be overlooked and left out of the equation. To make matters worse, Blanton pitched in just 11 games as he battled with an inflamed right elbow.
That appeared to behind Blanton when he entered Saturday night's game 3-0 with a 2.10 ERA over his last four starts. Much of that good will disappeared against the Red Sox as Blanton allowed a career-high four home runs in just 4 1/3 innings in a 7-5 loss. The seven runs, six of which were earned, represented his worst outing of the year.
Compounding matters, manager Charlie Manuel almost pinch-hit for Blanton in the fourth, but Freddy Galvis hit his third home run of the year, second in as many nights and that gave Manuel a moment to think, and that led to one more inning for Blanton.
"I was going to hit him with somebody on," Manuel said. "Of course if Freddy [hit a home run], I was going to hit him, too. When Freddy homered, it's 5-4 and it's still early in the game. I sent him back out there. I felt like he still had some left. I had confidence in him going back out there and pitching an inning or two."
That confidence was built off Blanton's recent efforts and at least on this night, it backfired. Still, Blanton has been around long enough for Manuel to believe in him even after this one rough start.
Rookie Galvis finding his stride at the plate
PHILADELPHIA -- Over the course of a six-game winning streak, the Phillies; offense has been given a much needed boost by the lower half of the lineup. In particular, rookie second baseman Freddy Galvis has found a good rhythm at the plate.
"He's not getting out real, quick, not overstriding," manager Charlie Manuel said. "He's got a little more juice than you think he has. Especially when he catches a ball good."
Glavis' home run in the eighth inning of the Phils' 6-4 win over Boston on Friday night gave the home team a much needed cushion. In all, the youngster is ranked first among rookies in games (40), and second in RBIs (17), extra base hits (14) as well as doubles (11). He also entered Saturday night's game with six hits in his last 12 opportunities with runners in scoring position. In Saturday's 7-5 loss to the Red Sox, Galvis hit a two-run homer off Jon Lester.
"A lot of it is confidence and getting relaxed," Manuel said. "[We gave him some days off] hoping that it would slow him down a bit. Just get him to watch the game. He was trying hard, striding quick and his swing was getting long. That break was good."
Third baseman Placido Polanco was not in the lineup on Saturday with a bruised left knee for the third straight game. Manager Charlie Manuel said Polanco was still sore, but was improving.
"There's no sense in me playing him if he can't move good," Manuel said. "He's day to day. He might play [Sunday]."
Jon Lester, the Red Sox starter on Saturday, entered the game 2-0 with a 0.43 ERA in three starts against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
"He's been good every time we've seen him," Manuel said. "So hopefully we get to him tonight."
Chase Utley took ground balls before the game for the third time in four days.
Saturday's lineup was the 34th different lineup the Phils have used this season.
Michael Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.