Shota Imanaga joins Fergie Jenkins, Dennis Eckersley in unique Cubs club


Shota Imanaga joins Fergie Jenkins, Dennis Eckersley in unique Cubs club originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Chicago Cubs pitcher Shota Imanaga may have given up his first earned runs of the season in Saturday’s win over the Miami Marlins, but he was still able to continue his historic start to the 2024 campaign.

Imanaga is now 3-0 for the Cubs, posting a 0.84 ERA with 21 strikeouts and just two walks in 21.1 innings of work.

According to Stathead, Imanaga is just the fourth pitcher in Cubs history to start a season with those numbers through four starts, and he joined some incredible company.

Kyle Hendricks was the most recent pitcher to hit those benchmarks, doing so in 2020 with a 3-1 start through his first four starts, posting 20 strikeouts and two walks.

Dennis Eckersley started out the 1985 season in similarly dominant fashion, with two complete game shutouts and a sterling 1.85 ERA. He only had one unintentional walk in his first 34 innings pitched through those first four starts.

Finally, Fergie Jenkins started out the 1968 season in dominant fashion, with 28 strikeouts and just one walk in his first four starts.

Imanaga’s remarkable start has him tied for second in the league with three wins, second in the league with a 0.84 ERA, and with the NL’s best WHIP at 0.75.

Imanaga’s next start hasn’t been decided, with the Cubs taking on the Houston Astros at home beginning Tuesday and the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park beginning on Friday.

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