Cubs' Maddon explains why he brought Chapman in and kept him in blowout Game 6

If you missed Game 6 of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night, then you missed an interesting decision on Joe Maddon's part as it pertains to his usage of closer Aroldis Chapman.

Maddon inserted Chapman in the seventh inning, when he relieved Mike Montgomery in a 7-2 ballgame. First, Maddon explained the decision to bring Chapman in there for that scenario:

Chapman pitched a scoreless eighth before surprisingly returning to begin the ninth -- surprisingly because 1) it was a 9-2 game and 2) the Cubs had two relievers warming in the bullpen.

So why did Chapman begin the ninth of a blowout with another game looming? Here's what Maddon told Tom Verducci afterward:

Whether you should buy that or not, hey, who knows.

The damage was minimal, however. Chapman walked the leadoff man and then was promptly removed at 20 pitches. He was going to be available for a Game 7 anyway, so facing one additional batter shouldn't make much difference. Still, it was an odd scene -- and one that will get talked about a lot if Chapman struggles in a Game 7 appearance.

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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