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#pounditMonday, December 5, 2022

Joe Maddon explains questionable use of Aroldis Chapman

Aroldis Chapman Cubs

Joe Maddon defended his questionable usage of reliever Aroldis Chapman during Game 6 of the World Series Tuesday, which the Cubs won 9-3.

After the game, Maddon was asked why he used Chapman as much as he did in what seemed like an unnecessary spot considering the Cubs’ lead. But the Chicago manager explained that he used Chapman in the seventh inning to ensure Cleveland did not mount a comeback, and he had the reliever pitch into the ninth because the Cubs’ lead only grew very suddenly.

“(We used him in the) seventh inning there because the middle of the batting order was coming up,” Maddon said. “(Francisco) Lindor, (Mike) Napoli, (Jose) Ramirez, so I thought the game could have been lost right there if we did not take care of it properly. Also, there was a threat that we would score more runs, which we did. And just did not have enough time to get (Pedro) Strop warmed up after the 2-run homer by (Anthony) Rizzo.

“When things happen that quickly sometimes there’s a day that you can just let your guy go out there and take him out before the next hitter, but that’s not the landscape anymore.

“So the meaty part of the batting order — you don’t get through that — there is no tomorrow. And then second of all, just trying to get Strop ready and have Aroldis pitch to one hitter.”

Chapman got the final out of the seventh, all three outs in the eighth, and then he started the 9th with a 9-2 lead. He walked the leadoff man and gave way to Strop, who allowed the inherited runner to score but finished out the game and helped the Cubs win it 9-3.

Chapman, who is typically solely a ninth-inning guy, has now been used for extended appearances two games in a row. Cubs fans are wondering why he was used so much when the team has the deciding Game 7 on Wednesday and will likely need the southpaw in top form. But as Maddon pointed out, if you don’t ensure victory in Game 6, there is no Game 7.

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