In a World Series Game 6 that was virtually decided by the end of the first inning, the Chicago Cubs came away with a dominant 9-3 victory to send the series to a winner-take-all Game 7. A decision made by Cubs manager Joe Maddon in Game 6, however, may have massive ramifications on the final game of the season, a game that will determine whether the Cleveland Indians will end a 68 year championship drought or the Cubs will end a 108 year championship drought.

The decision

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning and a five-run lead, Joe Maddon decided to call on closer Aroldis Chapman.

This wasn't unprecedented territory for the pitcher - he was once expected to be a starter in the MLB and pitched from the seventh inning to the end of the game in the Cubs' Game 5 victory.

It was only questionable because of the circumstances. The Cubs seemed likely to win and force a deciding game the following night, where they would likely need their best reliever. Chapman recorded four outs, reaching the ninth inning before being pulled after a walk to Brandon Guyer. He also appeared to be shaken up after a close double play to end the eighth inning; he pitched a total of 20 pitches on the night.

Game 7 ramifications

The odd usage of Chapman in Game 6 could have two potential impacts on the Cubs in Game 7: a direct physical one and a mental one.

On the physical side of things, most aren't expecting whatever hobbled Chapman in the eighth inning to be an issue tonight. The amount of pitches he threw in Game 6 might be, though. He'll say all the right things about wanting to play, but it will now be harder to get more than an inning out of the best reliever on the Cubs.

Mentally, the Cubs bullpen has to be feeling a bit slighted. Joe Maddon doesn't trust them enough to protect a five-run lead in the World Series? Or even a seven-run lead at the onset of the ninth inning? The Cubs bullpen will still give their all tonight if called upon in relief of Kyle Hendricks - it is World Series Game 7, after all - but the lack of trust their manager has in them might stick in the back of their minds, giving a huge bullpen edge to the Indians.

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