New York Yankees’ closer Aroldis Chapman spoke out against how he was used by Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon in the postseason.
During the press conference to officially announce his five-year, $86 million contract with New York, the closer spoke out on how his now-former manager Joe Maddon used him in the 2016 postseason.
“Personally, I don’t agree with the way he used me, but he is the manager and he has the strategy,” Chapman said during a conference call via ESPN. “My job is to be ready, to be ready to pitch, however that is, however many innings that is, I need to be ready for that. I need to go in and do my job.”
Throughout the playoffs, the 28-year old fireballer appeared in 13 games and struck out 21 batters in 15.2 innings of work. Opponents slashed .208/.395/.340 off him.
Chapman was especially against how Maddon threw him in Game 6 of the World Series when the Cubs were up seven runs. He would throw 20 pitches and surrender a run in 1.1 innings.
He then blew the save in Game 7 the next night thanks to a game-tying home run by Rajai Davis.
In the World Series alone, the closer with the most strikeouts among relievers since 2011, threw 137 pitches including a four-day stretch from Game 6-7 in which he tossed a total of 97 pitches in 5.1 innings.
However, after watching the mastery of Chapman and even Andrew Miller during this year’s postseason, it’s undeniable that using your best reliever to get the most important outs is a major key to glory.
Even if they must be used for multiple innings or during a larger-than-normal lead, it’s the most reliable way. Heck, even Mariano Rivera was used no matter the lead when the postseason came around.
“The way I feel as baseball players we are warriors,” Chapman also said via ESPN. “Our job is to be ready to do what we need to do on the field. They send me out there to pitch, I’m going to go out there and pitch.”