Baker: Chapman's extra work 'by design'
CINCINNATI -- For the first time in his Major League career, Reds closer Aroldis Chapman pitched for the fourth day in a row on Friday, closing out a 3-2 win over the Dodgers for his 35th save of the season.
Manager Dusty Baker said on Saturday that it was by design to have Chapman logging more and more appearances as the season winds down.
"He could have gone four days before, but we were trying to program him for this time of the year," said Baker. "He only went multiple innings one time, and three days in a row one time. Usually, that's not the life of a reliever."
Despite the extra workload, Chapman has looked as sharp as ever. After going more than a week without pitching, Chapman has struck out nine of the last 14 batters he's faced, while giving up just one hit and a walk in his four consecutive appearances. He was especially good on Friday, striking out the heart of the Dodgers' order on 13 pitches.
"We're taking care of him and also keeping him strong," said Baker. "Hopefully, we don't need him today."