Cubs' Maddon explains why he brought Chapman in and kept him in blowout Game 6
The decision was unpopular, but there's a reason for it
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:
Joe Maddon tells Tom Verducci that he let Aroldis Chapman start the 9th because Pedro Strop needed more time to warm up.— Maria I. Guardado (@mi_guardado) November 2, 2016
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.
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