Phillies 5, Cubs 4

By Chris Rewers on Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hero: Starlin Castro continues to impress. The 20-year-old rookie shortstop went 2-for-4 with an RBI single in the fifth to raise his average to .375.

Goat: With the Cubs trailing by a run in the top of the ninth and runners on the corners and one out, pinch hitter Aramis Ramirez failed in a make-contact situation. Ramirez, who is now hitting just .166, struck out and a low and outside Jose Contreras pitch. The next batter, Geovany Soto, weakly popped out to first baseman Ryan Howard to end the threat and the ballgame.

Key Plays: Struggling reliever John Grabow (0-3, 8.44 ERA) entered in the eighth with the score tied at 4 and issued walks to Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins. Utley was able to take a lengthy secondary lead off second, get a great jump, round third perfectly, and make a textbook slide to narrowly beat right fielder Kosuke Fukudome's throw to score the go-ahead run on Raul Ibanez's two-out single.

Comment: A four-game winning streak came to an end because the Cubs (19-23) reverted to some bad habits - poor situational hitting and a subpar performance from Grabow. And what was starter Ryan Dempster thinking when he challenged Rollins with a 3-and-0 pitch with two on and two out in the sixth? Rollins' second homer of the season gave the Phillies a 4-1 lead.

Next: The Cubs begin their 14th year of interleague play Friday (CSN, 7:05 p.m.) when they make their second-ever visit to Arlington, Texas to play the Rangers. Left-hander Ted Lilly (1-3, 4.65 ERA) will oppose Texas righty Colby Lewis (3-2, 3.68). The 30-year-old Lewis has resurrected his career after spending the 2008 and '09 campaigns pitching in Japan.

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