Aroldis Chapman is back with the New York Yankees after helping the Chicago Cubs win a World Series. And by “help” I mean by getting eight outs in Game 5, four in Game 6 and four more in Game 7.
Manager Joe Maddon’s decision to use his fireball-throwing closer over and over again in the Fall Classic was a hot topic. The consensus opinion that Chapman was being overworked grew louder and louder until he was touched up by Cleveland’s Rajai Davis for a game-tying homer in the eighth inning of the winner-take-all Game 7. It should be noted that Chapman retired the Indians in order in the ninth and earned the win as the Cubs pushed two runs across in the 10th.
Today we learned Chapman was among those confused by Maddon’s usage.
You’ll recall the Cubs lead Game 6 by a 7-2 margin when Maddon brought Chapman in during the seventh inning, then sent him back out for the eighth.
Look, Maddon’s moves worked out and the Cubs won the franchise’s first World Series since 1908. All the first- and second-guessing in the world didn’t — and won’t — change that. Chapman, for his part, deserves credit for taking the ball in three straight games even if he disagreed with his manager’s strategy.