Philadelphia Phillies defeat Chicago Cubs, 5-4

PHILADELPHIA -- Cubs insiders expect veteran reliever Bob Howry to join the team in Texas today to add a stabilizing influence to the bullpen -- in leadership, if not solid middle relief right away.

But how much can he do? And where do some of the roles go from here -- and again when Carlos Zambrano bumps somebody out of the rotation, possibly as soon as next week?

What's certain is that a flawed bullpen that opened the season on shaky ground remains the most fluid, ...

PHILADELPHIA -- Sometimes all it takes is one.

Nobody knows that more than Ryan Dempster, nine starts into a season that has become confounding -- and stalled -- for the sake of one pitch almost every time he starts.

The Cubs have lost Dempster's last five starts by close margins -- in each case for lack of a break-it-open hit and, as Dempster sees it, for lack of executing a specific pitch that winds up getting hit a long way.

On Thursday in Philadelphia, it was ...