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Shota Imanaga Continues Lights-Out Pitching for Cubs

The Chicago Cubs found a pitching gem in Shota Imanaga, who they signed to a four-year, $53 million contract last January. He’s had a 5-0 record and a 0.96 earned run average in eight starts. While he did not earn a victory in all of his starts, Imanaga was still solid during those performances.

Imanaga earned his first Major League Baseball victory on April 1 against the Colorado Rockies. He gave up only two hits and struck out nine batters in six innings. Meanwhile, his latest victory came against the New York Mets on May 1, wherein he surrendered three hits and collected seven strikeouts in seven innings.

Six days later, he surrendered two runs and struck out eight San Diego Padres batters in seven innings. However, his performance was insufficient to stop the Cubs’ 6-3 defeat. On May 13, he gave up zero runs on seven hits against the Atlanta Braves, but they still lost 2-0.

Imanaga has 51 strikeouts and a 0.94 WHIP in 46.2 innings over eight games. He leads all MLB starting pitchers in ERA (0.96) and tied with Logan Gilbert with the sixth-best WHIP. More importantly, his performances helped the Cubs establish a 24-18 record, a half-game behind the Milwaukee Brewers for the National League Central lead.

Shota Imanaga’s next start could be on May 19 against the Pittsburgh Pirates or May 21 versus the Atlanta Braves.

-Lance Fernandez

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