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Joe Maddon On Aroldis Chapman Usage In Game 6: 'There Is No Tomorrow' Without A Win

(CBS) With a 7-2 lead and two on with two outs in the seventh inning Tuesday, Cubs manager Joe Maddon summoned closer Aroldis Chapman earlier than usual for the second time in three days to extinguish an Indians rally.

While Chapman got the job done and ended up pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings in a 20-pitch effort, the move quickly created much debate. Why was Maddon burdening Chapman with a workload in a blowout with a Game 7 looming Wednesday night?

Maddon explained after his team finished off a 9-3 victory in Game 6 at Progressive Field. In bringing him on in the seventh, Maddon wanted Chapman facing Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, who has been one of Cleveland's best hitters in the postseason."

"I brought him in earlier because that was the part of the order he had to get out," Maddon said in a postgame interview on Fox. "I did not want the game to get away at that particular moment. So that worked out well."

Citing games in which he's managed in Cleveland in which the Indians have rallied from "seven" or "nine" runs down, Maddon didn't want to take any chances in Game 6.

"The seventh inning there because the middle of the batting order was coming up with Lindor and (Mike) Napoli, (Jose) Ramirez possibly, all that stuff," Maddon said. "I thought the game could've been lost right there if we did not take care of it properly. I felt there was the threat we would score more runs, which we did.

"If we don't get through that, there is no tomorrow."

Maddon was questioned about the topic repeated in his postgame press conference. Earlier in the day, he'd discussed with Chapman the possibility of bringing him in during the seventh inning.

"It's just the middle of their batting order," Maddon said. "There's no other way to really try to look at that and feel good ... It's much more difficult to hit against Chapman's velocity. For me, the game could've been lost right there. He's by far our most dynamic relief pitcher."

Maddon left Chapman in for one batter in the ninth -- he issued a walk -- because reliever Pedro Strop wasn't warmed up yet. Until Anthony Rizzo's two-run homer in the top of the ninth stretched Chicago's lead from 7-2 to 9-2, the Cubs didn't have a reliever up in the bullpen.

Asked about Chapman's availability for Game 7 after throwing four innings in the past three days,  Maddon responded, "I anticipate a lot of the same" -- hinting that Chapman will be available for multiple innings.

"I don't think so," Maddon replied when asked if using Chapman in Game 6 "imperiled" his availability in Game 7.

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