Aroldis Chapman Is Key Behind Cincinnati Reds' Playoff Hopes

By John Raffel
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Aroldis Chapman got a chance to show his MLB All-Star stuff Tuesday night by pitching a scoreless inning for the National League.

But now, the Cincinnati Reds reliever needs to keep pitching like an All-Star for his team if the Reds are to make a solid run for their divisional title. They have so many other issues to contend with, but they’re hoping Chapman remains solid in short relief so they won’t have to worry about that aspect of their game.

Chapman, like any closer for any team, could be the key behind his team’s fortunes.

His ERA has gone up to 2.79 prior to the break but in 42 appearances this season, Chapman has 21 saves out of 24 save opportunities. He has, in 38.2 innings of work, 64 strikeouts.

In many respects, Chapman is just as reliable as he was a year ago when he was 5-5 and had 38 saves in 43 save opportunities. But his ERA was 1.51, a far cry from where it’s at now. The Reds would feel a little better if his ERA would come down the rest of this season.

But basically, Chapman has been effective enough to keep the Reds in the divisional race and that’s a huge factor right now.

Chapman is definitely throwing strikes and that’s obviously what any manager wants to see in their closer. He continues to cut down on walks. He has only 19 base on balls in 38.2 innings of work. Managers hate seeing relievers coming in and allowing walks but Chapman hasn’t been doing that, which is why he remains on manager Dusty Baker‘s good side.

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