Cubs looking for more consistency against Phillies

CHICAGO — Just 24 hours earlier, Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon bemoaned the fact his team lacked consistency in making the most of their scoring chances.

But as he has maintained all season, Maddon believed that the Cubs would find a way to come around.

“As we continue to move this forward, the guys will get better with that,” Maddon told reporters, according to the Chicago Tribune. “We’ve done better than that in the past to a certain extent. But that is the one part of our offensive scheme that is lacking. And it’s just going to require a more simple approach, staying in the middle (of the field), those sort of things.”

After Jason Heyward’s dramatic, two-out, walk-off grand slam rescued the Cubs in a 7-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday, the Cubs will try to finish off a series win on Thursday.

Heyward’s heroics delivered the Cubs fifth win in their past six games after Chicago watched as the Phillies erased a three-run deficit and took a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning.

And after Heyward’s blast, Maddon’s concerns seemed to get addressed — at least for the time being. For Heyward, who has struggled at times to find his rhythm at the plate, said he just tried to take a simple approach — only to come through when given the chance.

“It’s fun — it’s a lot of fun, but we overcame some stuff to do what we did,” Heyward told reporters of the Cubs’ come-from-behind victory. “It’s nice to be rewarded.”

Tyler Chatwood (3-4, 4.02 ERA) will start for the Cubs in Thursday’s matinee. Chatwood is in search of his first victory since May 11.

Chatwood is coming off back-to-back no-decisions and has yet to work through six innings in any of his starts this season. Chatwood is 3-2 with a 3.27 ERA in six career starts against the Phillies.

The Phillies, who have lost four of their last five games, will attempt to try to rebound after being one strike away from capturing their second straight victory over the Cubs.

Right-hander Nick Pivetta (4-4, 3.48) will attempt to deliver a series win on Thursday. Pivetta has lost back-to-back starts after stringing together three consecutive victories.

Before striking out three in his last outing against the San Francisco Giants, Pivetta had struck out at least seven hitters in four straight outings, including an 11-strikeout effort on May 16 against Baltimore. Pivetta is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in his lone career start against the Cubs.

Wednesday’s tough loss came on a day that the Phillies got shortstop J.P. Crawford back after he spent more than a month on the disabled list with a forearm strain.

Crawford did not play Wednesday with the Cubs starting a left-hander in Jose Quintana, but manager Gabe Kapler said he will get Crawford back into the lineup although Kapler has seen Scott Kingery improve steadily in the time he has filled in for Crawford. He said he hasn’t come up with a long-term outlook on who will hold down the position over the long run.

“I don’t think we have the whole blueprint built yet,” Kapler told reporters on Wednesday. “We’re going to continue to discuss options and put the best club on the field every night for the Phillies.”