Chicago Cubs: Epstein defends Maddon against his critics


by - Senior Editor -
Benny Sieu - USA Today Sports
Benny Sieu - USA Today Sports

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon has been under fire recently by media pundits and some fans for some of his decision during the postseason including the use of his beleaguered bullpen.

President of Operations Theo Epstein held his annual press conference after the season on Friday afternoon and made sure that fans knew he had his manager's back and it was the player's not performing on the big stage.

“[The game is] not manager against manager," Epstein said via the Chicago Sun-Times. "That stuff just gets under the microscope so much this time of year. "It’s players performing. And when you get a lead in the series and when you get a bunch of relievers throwing well, you can make tactically aggressive decisions, and your strategies tend to work."

Maddon didn't have a lot to work within the bullpen except for standout Wade Davis.

"When you’re in a tough spot late in the game, and you’re searching for consistency in the [bullpen], it just puts all managers in a tough spot," Maddon said.

The bullpen has to be addressed this season because they were awful walking 26 batters during the postseason. On the batter's side of things, it was just as ugly as the Cubs were the first team in more than 50 years to be hitless with runners in scoring position in a best of seven-game series.

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