Cubs' Shota Imanaga Shows Respect to Umpire During Start With Classy Gesture

The surging Chicago left-hander is all class on the mound.
Cubs pitcher Shota Imanaga trots out to the field during Chicago's matchup against Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Cubs pitcher Shota Imanaga trots out to the field during Chicago's matchup against Pittsburgh on Saturday. / Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Cubs left-handed pitcher Shota Imanaga is off to a historic start to his young MLB career.

Imanaga dazzled the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday at Wrigley Field, holding them scoreless in seven innings of work while allowing just four hits and whiffing seven batters. Imanaga now has recorded a quality start in six of his nine outings. He owns a 0.84 ERA through nine starts—the best mark through a rookie starter's first nine outings in MLB history.

Imanaga is all class on the mound, too. Whenever he receives a fresh new baseball from the umpire, the 30-year-old bows toward the umpire out of respect.

"Obviously, his stuff is really good," Cubs outfielder Cody Bellinger said of Imanaga on the Marquee Sports Network broadcast after the game. "He's really coming into his own. Super unpredictable—he pitches everybody different. Just an extremely smart pitcher with really good stuff."

Imanaga wasn't credited with the win Saturday, but the Cubs did pull out a 1–0 victory over the Pirates on Christopher Morel's walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The Cubs and Pirates will conclude their weekend series Sunday at Wrigley Field.


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Tom Dierberger

TOM DIERBERGER

Tom Dierberger is a writer and editor for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Tom joined SI in 2023 after stints at FOX Sports, Bally Sports, and NBC Sports. In his spare time, Tom can be seen throwing out his arm while playing fetch with his dog, Walter B. Boy.