Friday, July 12, 2024

Cubs Rookie Pitcher Continues To Dominate And Break Records


After another nearly flawless start, Chicago Cubs pitcher Shōta Imanaga continues to dominate his rookie season in Major League Baseball. During Sunday’s 4-2 win against the Cincinnati Reds, Imanaga pitched 6.2 innings while striking out 7 and only surrendering 2 runs. The start keeps his season ERA below a two, with it now sitting at 1.96.

Just as impressive, though, is the fact that the Cubs left-hander has been making history throughout his short time in Chicago. With his ERA sitting at 1.96, he has the second-lowest ERA for a Cubs pitcher through their first 12 MLB starts. Imanaga sits only behind Zip Zabel, who started his MLB career with a 1.85 ERA through 1913-15.

With the Cubs record sitting at 32-34 on the season, the team has been struggling and has fallen from grace from how they started the season. The one piece that has been keeping them afloat is Imanaga. Through Imanaga’s 12 major league starts, the Cubs have won 10 of them, showing just how valuable of a piece he has been to this ball club.

Another glowing statistic associated with this start from Imanaga showcases the Cubs’ struggles over the past month. The win recorded by Imanaga is the first start by the Cubs to record a win since May 15. That snaps a 21-game streak of a Cubs starting pitcher not recording a win.

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On Sunday, one of the best highlights from Imanaga’s start against the Reds took social media by storm. After striking out Red’s catcher, Luke Maile invented a new way to celebrate a K. Imanaga quickly turned around on the mound and took a bow to his infield, outfield, and all those in the stands.

It seems Imanaga has won over the hearts of Chicago and fans across MLB. Whether taking bows to his teammates, making a guest appearance on The Pat McAfee show, or singing Go Cubs Go to the patrons at Cubs Convention, Imanaga has not failed to have his fair share of viral moments across the social media landscape.

His rookie season has gone tremendously, with very little to complain about. He holds the 5th lowest ERA in the majors and a pitching WAR of 2.3 on the season. Every time he gets the ball to start for the Cubs, it feels like a game they should win almost every time. While the Cubs have plenty of problems to figure out to make this team turn around, Imanaga has not been one of them. The signing continues to be one of the most valuable and best moves made off-season.

It might be a disappointing time to be a Cubs fan overall, but Imanaga has surely been one of the shining bright stars of this season. So what is next in the bright rookie season of Shōta Imanaga; whether it’s a viral social media clip or a dominant performance on the mound, it surely seems like it will not disappoint.


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Jun 11, 2024 11:23 am

Fun facts about Zip Zabel- his real name was George Washington Zabel. He holds the major league record for longest relief appearance in history. Zip came in with 2 outs in the first and completed the game, which lasted 19 innings. The opposing pitcher pitched all 19 innings and the Cubs won.

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