Shota Imanaga Had One Thing on His Mind During Tense Outing vs. Cardinals

Cubs pitcher Shota Imanaga reacts after delivering a pitch during the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field.
Cubs pitcher Shota Imanaga reacts after delivering a pitch during the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field. / Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Cubs ace Shota Imanaga was slicing and dicing his way through the St. Louis Cardinals' lineup on Saturday at Wrigley Field.

In his first career start against the NL Central rival Cardinals, Imanaga fanned six batters and allowed just one run on four hits through seven innings. He ran into a bit of trouble in the seventh, hitting leadoff batter and third baseman Nolan Arenado with a pitch and allowing a single to designated hitter Ivan Herrera.

With just one out, the Cardinals had the game-tying run on second base and the go-ahead run standing on first. So, what was going through Imanaga's mind as he toed the rubber?

"I was pretty hungry, so I was thinking about what kind of food and nutrition I should take after the game," Imanaga said through a translator. "This is my honest thoughts."

Well, daydreaming about his next meal apparently worked. Imanaga got center fielder Dylan Carlson to fly out to left field and struck out Cardinals left fielder Brendan Donovan in an eight-pitch at-bat to end the threat.

The Cubs scored three insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh and turned to reliever Tyson Miller to handle the final two innings to secure a 5–1 win at home.

There's nothing like a big, hearty meal after flying the "W" at Wrigley Field.

“So I got to take lots of carbs, lots of protein, and then thinking about what kind of foods I should eat," Imanaga said.


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Tom Dierberger

TOM DIERBERGER

Tom Dierberger is a staff writer and editor on the Breaking and Trending News team at Sports Illustrated. He joined SI in November 2023 after stints at FOX Sports, Bally Sports and NBC Sports. Dierberger has a bachelor's in communication from St. John's University. In his spare time, he can be seen throwing out his arm while playing fetch with his dog, Walter B. Boy.