Chapman racking up strikeouts, saves

Chapman racking up strikeouts, saves

DENVER -- Reds closer Aroldis Chapman has converted each of his last 12 saves opportunities and has mowed down the opposition in the process. Entering Saturday, 34 of his past 43 outs recorded were strikeouts.

Despite Chapman's triple-digit fastball velocity, Baker felt the left-hander had become more of a pitcher than a thrower this season.

"I think it's safe to say that," Baker said Saturday. "He has the ability to come in and out and up and down. He's feeling comfortable and very confident with what he's doing. And he's using more than just his fastball. Getting ahead helps to use more than just your fastball."

On Friday, Chapman struck out first batter Todd Helton with an 88 mph slider. He needed only 11 pitches to record his 20th save and that type of pitch efficiency could make him more repeatable.

"That helps a lot. It puts him in a position even to possibly go a third day if that second day is not a lot of work," Baker said.

Chapman has worked three straight days only once this season -- July 13-15 vs. the Cardinals.