Method to Cubs' Joe Maddon's madness

Joe Maddon often refers to the second-guessing of his moves as "outcome bias."

But the Chicago Cubs' manager had plenty of explaining after the handling of his pitching backfired despite an 8-7 victory Wednesday night over the Cleveland Indians in the seventh and deciding game of the World Series.

Maddon called on closer Aroldis Chapman with two out in the bottom of the eighth inning with a three-run lead, but Chapman - who had thrown four innings and 62 pitches in two previous games - surrendered three consecutive hits, including a game-tying home run by Rajai Davis.

"Chappy is our guy in that moment," Maddon explained. "We narrowed it down to four outs. If you want to really complete the thought process, their guys are really rested, and we hit them. Whereas Chappy had just pitched (Tuesday), and I felt very confident because he felt great going into the game.

"So the Cubs beat up on (Andrew) Miller and got to their other guys because the Cubs are good. The Indians beat up on Chapman because the Indians are good. So that's part of the game."

Maddon stood by his decision to pull starter Kyle Hendricks in favor of Jon Lester, even after Lester allowed a 25-foot single and threw a wild pitch that scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth to cut the Cubs' lead to 5-3.

The 10th inning started with rookie Carl Edwards Jr. retiring the first two batters before allowing a walk to Brandon Guyer and an RBI single by Davis. Maddon summoned left-hander Mike Montgomery, who induced Michael Martinez to ground to third for the final out to ignite a crazy celebration.

"I do know one thing," Maddon said. "(Edwards) will be better for that next year."

Copyright © 2019, The Virginia Gazette
34°