Chapman thriving in back-to-back games

Chapman thriving in back-to-back games

HOUSTON -- As Aroldis Chapman continues to transform into a closer, manager Dusty Baker said he's been impressed with how the left-hander has improved at pitching on a second straight day.

"He's getting better at throwing back the second day with the same stuff that he has the first day," Baker said. "Your body gets acclimated to whatever role that you're in after a period of time."

Chapman has pitched on consecutive days four times in the month of July, entering Monday. He hasn't given up a hit on zero days rest all month. On the season, Chapman has a 0.90 ERA in 10 innings on zero days rest, a 0.00 ERA in 12 1/3 innings on one day of rest and a 2.70 ERA in 23 1/3 on two or more days rest.

Baker again addressed the team's decision to keep Chapman in the bullpen.

"We needed him in that role. That's the thing," Baker said. "There was a ton of debate about should he be starting early in the season, but where would we be right now without him? ... He's been involved in half our wins almost. I just hate to think where we'd be without him, as our setup man first and then our closer."

Entering Monday, Chapman had 17 saves and 86 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings. The Reds are 35-7 when he makes an appearance.