CINCINNATI -- For the first time in his Major League career, Reds closer Aroldis Chapman pitched for the fourth day in a row on Friday, closing out a 3-2 win over the Dodgers for his 35th save of the season.
Manager Dusty Baker said on Saturday that it was by design to have Chapman logging more and more appearances as the season winds down.
"He could have gone four days before, but we were trying to program him for this time of the year," said Baker. "He only went multiple innings one time, and three days in a row one time. Usually, that's not the life of a reliever."
Despite the extra workload, Chapman has looked as sharp as ever. After going more than a week without pitching, Chapman has struck out nine of the last 14 batters he's faced, while giving up just one hit and a walk in his four consecutive appearances. He was especially good on Friday, striking out the heart of the Dodgers' order on 13 pitches.
"We're taking care of him and also keeping him strong," said Baker. "Hopefully, we don't need him today."
Dusty gives Phillips a day off to recuperate
CINCINNATI -- After suffering a left quad contusion while turning a double play on Thursday, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips battled through most of Friday's game before singling and being replaced by pinch-runner Billy Hamilton in the eighth.
Manager Dusty Baker decided on Saturday it would be best to keep Phillips off his feet and give him some rest.
"It's kind of a necessary day off," said Baker. "[We have] a short turnaround. I didn't like how he went after a couple balls. He wasn't gliding like he usually does."
Baker said he would only consider using Phillips in a situation where he wouldn't have to do much running, such as a potential two-out, pinch-hit opportunity. With the series finale coming at 8:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, Baker said that would also give Phillips the advantage of additional rest. Phillips is also one of the few Reds players to have much success against the Dodgers' Sunday starter Clayton Kershaw, going 8-for-19 (.421) with a walk and an RBI.
"I just told [Phillips] to get as much treatment as possible," said Baker. "It's not quite hero time. Almost."
Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.