Instant Replay: Phillies 7, Cubs 4

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Instant Replay: Phillies 7, Cubs 4

Updated: 5:22 p.m.

BOX SCORE

The Phillies rallied for three runs late in the game to pull out a 7-4 win over the Chicago Cubs at Citizens Bank Park Sunday afternoon.

The Phils have won two in a row for the first time since Aug. 28-29.

Aaron Altherr scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh. Altherr had reached third on a triple.

Phillies second baseman Cesar Hernandez suffered a dislocated left thumb during the game. Afterward, interim manager Pete Mackanin said Hernandez is probably done for the season.

The Phillies are 56-88.

Starting pitching report
Aaron Harang went five innings and allowed three runs. He walked one and struck out five. He left the game with a one-run lead.

Cubs right-hander Dan Haren lasted just three innings. He gave up seven hits and four runs.

Bullpen report
Hector Neris, Dalier Hinojosa, Jerome Williams and Ken Giles all pitched a scoreless inning. Giles survived two hits in the ninth and recorded his 13th save.

Clayton Richard pitched four innings out of the Cubs’ bullpen. He wild-pitched home the Phillies’ tie-breaking run in the seventh.

At the plate
The Phillies out-hit the Cubs, 12-8.

Altherr doubled and tripled. He has 19 hits, 12 for extra bases.

Freddy Galvis’ two-run double in the eighth put the game away.

Ryan Howard knocked in three runs, one in the first inning with a sacrifice fly to center and two in the third with his 22nd homer of the season. Howard has 76 RBIs on the season.

Mackanin let Howard hit against the lefty Richard with a runner on third and the score tied in the bottom of the seventh. Howard struck out. He is hitting .130 (13 for 100) against left-handed pitching.

Chris Coghlan had a big day for the Cubs. He tripled in his first two at-bats and homered in the fifth inning.

In the field
Hernandez, the Phillies’ second baseman, made a costly error that allowed the Cubs to tie the game with two outs in the top of the seventh. Hernandez charged Anthony Rizzo’s bouncer toward first and tried to flip to Howard but lost the handle on the ball. Hernandez’s momentum carried his past first base and he collided with Rizzo, who is built like a tight end. Hernandez went down and pain and left the game.

The Phillies’ outfield defense was very good with rightfielder Brian Bogusevic and centerfielder Odubel Herrera making highlight catches.

Up next
The Phillies host Jonathan Papelbon and the flopping Washington Nationals for three games beginning Monday night. Here are the pitching matchups:

Monday night — RHP Aaron Nola (6-2, 3.56) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (12-8, 3.32)

Tuesday night — RHP David Buchanan (2-8, 9.11) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (8-7, 4.30)

Wednesday night — LHP Adam Morgan (5-6, 4.60) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (10-7, 3.88)

Drew Anderson has emerged as one of the Phillies' top pitching prospects

Drew Anderson has emerged as one of the Phillies' top pitching prospects

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Drew Anderson remembers his telephone ringing in November. He remembers hearing Phillies director of player development Joe Jordan congratulate him and tell him that he'd been placed on the team's 40-man roster.

Anderson was elated.

"It was awesome," the right-handed pitcher said the other day.

So awesome that Anderson celebrated in an unusual way.

"I busted out 50 pushups," he said. "I had so much adrenaline."

The internal discussions that teams have when considering which players to protect on the 40-man roster and which ones to risk losing in the Rule 5 draft are often long and detailed and decisions are not always reached easily.

But in Anderson's case ...

"It was not a long conversation," Jordan said. "The feeling was, 'Put him on the roster. Don't lose him. Let's talk about the next guy.'"

"Across the board," minor-league pitching coordinator Rafael Chaves said. "And that's not common for a kid that pitched in A-ball."

Anderson, who turns 23 on March 22, will get his first taste of Double A ball in April.

Clearly, the Phillies are high on him.

But how high?

"We've got scouts who will tell you that he might be our best pitching prospect," Jordan said.

Given some of the power arms that the Phils have collected in the low minors, that's quite a statement.

If it seems as if Anderson has flown below the radar since being drafted by the Phillies in 2012 it's because, well, he's done just that.

For a while.

He received little interest from four-year colleges coming out of Galena High School in Reno, Nevada and was headed to Mesa Community College in Arizona before the Phillies selected him in the 21st round that year.

"My name never really got out there," he said. "Really only the Phillies looked at me. (Area scout) Joey Davis saw me and he said he liked that I had a fluid arm and he liked the way the ball jumped out of my hand. He saw me as a sleeper pick. I just wanted to play ball so I said, 'Yeah, I'll give it a shot.'"

Jordan recalled seeing Anderson pitch at Single A Lakewood early in the 2014 season. Anderson had added strength to his 6-foot-3 frame and his fastball velocity had jumped from 90-92 mph to 93-95 mph.

"It was just a matter of physical maturity, his body getting stronger, and we were really excited," Jordan said.

Anderson did not make it through that season, however. He came down with an elbow injury and the following spring became a statistic — a pitcher who needed Tommy John surgery.

Anderson missed the 2015 season. He came back in May of last year and made 15 starts between Lakewood and Clearwater. At Clearwater, the Phillies' advanced Single A stop, Anderson posted a 1.93 ERA in 32⅔ innings. He struck out 37 and walked 10.

The rehabilitation process after Tommy John surgery focuses on more than just the elbow. Special attention is paid to the shoulder and the legs. Working under Joe Rauch, the Phillies' minor-league rehab specialist, Anderson gained much strength in those areas and it showed in his fastball velocity last summer.

He got it up to 97 mph.

He also has a good breaking ball and an improving changeup to go with a classic pitcher's body. He has long arms and weighs 205 pounds.

"We just felt some team out there would have taken him even if they had to stash him in the bullpen," said Jordan, expounding on the Phils' decision to add Anderson to the 40-man roster in November. "He's too big an asset."

Anderson is excited about making the jump to Reading this season. He's never pitched more than 76 innings as a pro and now that he's healthy needs to start racking up mound time and experience.

Anderson mentioned how hard he worked this offseason to get ready for his first trip to big-league camp and what lies beyond when he heads to Double A.

The hard work started with those 50 pushups that he busted out upon learning that he'd been placed on the 40-man roster.

"After hearing that it was time to kick it in gear," he said. "I was like, 'Let's do this.'

"I've had some ups and downs, but I feel like I'm on track now."

Phillies Notes: Hector Neris looks to become three-pitch guy in 2017

Phillies Notes: Hector Neris looks to become three-pitch guy in 2017

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Hector Neris racked up 102 strikeouts, the second-most ever by a Phillies reliever, during his breakout 2016 season.

The right-hander did it basically with a two-pitch mix — a power fastball and a darting splitter that manager Pete Mackanin likes to call “an invisible pitch.”

After last season, Neris reflected on his success, which included a 2.58 ERA over 80⅓ innings, the third-most among NL relievers.

Neris determined that he would need to diversify his pitch repertoire if he’s going to continue to have success.

So during winter ball in his native Dominican Republic, he dusted off his seldom-used slider and threw it more. He’s polishing it up in this camp and plans to use it in the upcoming World Baseball Classic and during the regular season.

“I think it’s something that can make me better,” Neris said. “I’ve never had the confidence in it that I had in my other pitches, but I’m working hard on it. It will give me a third option for the hitter to think about.”

Neris threw a slider 2.9 percent of the time in 2016, according to MLB Statcast. He threw more than 49 percent splitters and 46 percent fastballs.

“In the big leagues you have to respect the hitter,” Neris said. “The hitters know me now and they know I throw fastballs and splitters. I need to have that third pitch for them to respect. When I throw it, I want them to say, ‘What is that?’”

Neris’ splitter darts down and in to a right-hander hitter. The slider will break the other way.

Neris has talked about different grips on the pitch with guest spring-training instructor Larry Andersen, who threw a million sliders in his career.

“He threw some nasty ones today,” Andersen said after Tuesday’s workout. “The pitch will help him.”

McLaren to WBC
Bullpen coach John McLaren will leave camp on Wednesday and travel to Japan as Team China assembles for the World Baseball Classic. McLaren will manage that club. He also skippered the club in 2013.

Asked if he spoke more than seven words of Chinese, McLaren quipped, “That would be pushing it. I’m still trying to conquer English.”

Team China will provide a translator for McLaren, though there is a universal element to baseball communication.

“This is my third time going to the WBC,” McLaren said. “I love it.”

Almost game time
The Phillies will play their annual exhibition game against the University of Tampa on Thursday. The Phils are expected to play many of the young players that will make up their Triple A Lehigh Valley roster. Right-hander Mark Leiter Jr., who pitched at Double A Reading last season, will come over from minor-league camp to make the start. Pitching coach Bob McClure said he expected to get several projected big-league relievers work in the game.

Alec Asher will start the Grapefruit League opener against the Yankees on Friday in Tampa and Adam Morgan will start Saturday’s games against the Yankees in Clearwater.