Maddon Admits Regret Over Chapman Use In 2016 WS

Joe Maddon admitted he overtaxed Aroldis Chapman in Game 6 of the World Series.

670 The Score Staff
May 27, 2020 - 9:14 am

(670 The Score) Former Cubs manager Joe Maddon expressed regret over his use of then-closer Aroldis Chapman in the 2016 World Series during a live appearance on Cameo on Tuesday evening, when ESPN also re-aired Chicago's thrilling 8-7 win against Cleveland in Game 7.

Maddon acknowledged that he overtaxed Chapman, most notably in Game 6, when Chapman entered with Chicago leading 7-2 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and Cleveland threatening in the form of two baserunners on.

Chapman got out of that jam and threw a scoreless eighth inning. Maddon then sent Chapman back out for the ninth inning with the Cubs up 9-2 after Anthony Rizzo tacked on more insurance runs with a two-run homer in the top half. Chapman walked the lead-off man before Maddon pulled him. Chapman threw 20 pitches in all that day.

"I should not have sent him back out in the ninth," Maddon told legendary broadcaster Bob Costas on Cameo. "Everything happened kind of quickly. Riz hit a homer that put us up by more runs. And I honestly thought about this the day before -- I did not want to run away from a crucial moment in Game 6 and have Aroldis be in the bullpen and have us lose the game.

"I should have gotten him out starting the ninth and not had him throw four pitches. That, out of all the things I did in that series, that's the one thing that I should have done differently. I knew that. I think it was (Pedro Strop) that came in at that point. I should have gotten Stropy ready sooner. He would probably tell you he could come in the game, and that's probably true. But when you're playing Game 6 and can't lose and trying to get to number 7, it's almost the same in my mind's eye and all bets are off. So I wanted to roll this to get out of that inning (the seventh). He did. He pitched the next inning (the eighth). He did well. I should have just jettisoned him after Rizzo's homer."

Chapman's extended use -- he appeared in 13 of the team's 17 playoff games -- finally caught up to him a night later in Game 7, when he allowed an RBI double and served up the game-tying two-run homer to Rajai Davis in the bottom of the eighth after the Cubs held a three-run lead. Chapman did pitch a scoreless ninth inning, after which the Cubs responded and won a thrilling game in 10 innings to win their first championship in 108 years.

Maddon's expression of regret Tuesday was in contrast to his defiance in the days and months that followed the Cubs' championship, as he seemed irritated that his moves were even a topic of discussion after the organization won a title.

"Would I do it differently? No," Maddon told the New York Post. "There is no Game 7 without winning Game 6. And there is no Game 8 if you don’t win Game 7. That’s why you do what you have to do."