Shota Imanaga

Shōta Imanaga makes MLB history again after a stellar start against the Pirates

Imanaga has recorded the lowest ERA in MLB history through his first nine career starts

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Shōta Imanaga continues to dominate during his rookie campaign with the Cubs this season.

He continued that dominance on Saturday with an incredible outing against the Pirates, which saw the Japanese star pitch seven scoreless innings and allowed just four hits and one walk while striking out seven.

With that outing in the books, Imanaga moved his season ERA to a blistering 0.84, the lowest ERA in MLB history of any rookie in their first career nine starts, according to Sarah Langs.

Imanaga has been setting new marks in every which way during his early start to the season. Even through three starts, he became the first Cubs pitcher in 115 years to have a perfect ERA.

Currently, he has the best ERA in MLB, along with the seventh-best WHIP (0.91), the 15th-most strikeouts (58), and the 14th-best opponent batting average (.200).

But, surprisingly, Imanaga showed little interest in the numbers.

"If I'm being honest, I'm not really interested in my own stats like that, or any historic value," he said through the team's translator. "But, just knowing that there are so many good pitchers who came before me and the fact that in the past there are plenty of guys who are able to do that, is a good learning experience."

It's incredible what Imanaga is doing this early in the season.

What makes his outstanding start to his rookie campaign so intriguing is the relocation aspect. Remember, this is Imanga's first time living in the United States. That's a major adjustment to inhale, but he's taken it head-on and commended the Cubs organization for their support and positivity through the process.

The Cubs felt strongly about the 30-year-old left-hander in free agency when they signed him to a four-year contract in January this year. But even they didn't expect he would flourish to this level.

"I think you have to say it because when you start looking at the historic stuff that he's doing, you look at the history of the game, when you start getting in this territory, you have to be a little surprised, for sure," Craig Counsell said after Saturday's game. "We're fortunate to watch it. It's been so much fun to watch. Just his aptitude out there, his pitch-making ability, his stuff, his competitiveness, they've all been just a joy to watch."

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