Chicago Cubs Japanese pitcher Shota Imanaga (31) was rocked for the second straight game.

Imanaga started the Cubs’ 2024 Major League Baseball regular-season game against the Chicago White Sox at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Friday (May 5) and struggled, allowing five runs (one earned) on seven hits, one walk, and six strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings. Trailing 5-0 with one out in the top of the fifth inning, Imanaga pitched into a rain delay and was in danger of losing the game, but the Cubs’ late batting explosion earned him a no-decision in a 7-6 victory.

It wasn’t a bad start to the first inning. He gave up a leadoff single to Andrew Vaughn, but retired the first, third, and fourth batters he faced on swinging strikes to end the inning. The second inning was similarly innocuous, with a fly ball to second, a swinging strikeout, and a grounder to third. In the third, Lenin Sosa led off with a single, but Martin Maldonado struck out Martin Maldonado and Corey Jenks struck out swinging to keep the inning scoreless.

Trouble came in the fourth inning. Imanaga gave up back-to-back singles to leadoff hitter Vaughn and the next batter, Luis Robert Jr. He induced a grounder to third against Paul DeJong, but a fielding error came at a crucial time. Third baseman Christopher Morel failed to field the grounder, allowing Vaughn to score from second. What could have been a walk-off hit turned into a run and runners on second and third with nobody out.

Imanaga got Gavin Sheets to ground into a foul ball to the catcher for the first out, but with runners on second and third, he gave up a three-pitch fastball to Corey Lee for a two-run double off the left-field wall. With runners on first and second, Imanaga got Danny Mendick to ground out to third, advancing the runners one base.

The crisis didn’t end there. Imanaga gave up a two-run home run to Sosa on a four-pitch splitter down the middle. After giving up five runs in the fourth inning alone, Imanaga struck out Maldonado on a wild pitch to end the inning.

Imanaga was back on the mound in the fifth inning and found himself in scoring position after a leadoff double by Zekes. He got Vaughn to fly out to center field to put runners on first and second, and the game was suspended for about 40 minutes 토토사이트 due to rain at Wrigley Field. Imanaga then turned the mound over to Tyson Miller as his shoulder cooled down. Miller did not allow a runner to reach base, keeping Imanaga’s run total at five.

The Cubs offense struggled through the fifth inning against White Sox starter Chris Flexen (three runs on five hits and four walks with one strikeout), but they responded with a four-run big inning in the sixth to tie the game at 5-5. The White Sox regained the lead in the top of the seventh on Robert Jr.’s solo shot, but the Cubs rallied for a 7-6 victory in the bottom of the eighth on Ian Happ’s RBI double.

Imanaga suffered his first loss of the season on May 30 against the Milwaukee Brewers (4 1/3 innings, eight hits, two homers, one walk, seven strikeouts), his second straight rough outing. However, only one of the five runs allowed on that day (May 5) was earned, keeping his ERA under the 1.86 mark (1.88 to 1.88).

A day earlier, Imanaga was ranked first in the National League (NL) in a mock rookie of the year poll released by, the official website of Major League Baseball, ahead of Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Los Angeles Dodgers), the highest-paid pitcher in the game. Imanaga’s success was largely due to a 5-0 record with a 0.84 ERA through his first 실시간 바카라사이트 nine games, but his momentum seems to have faded after two straight losses.

After the match, Imanaga said, “I was overwhelmed by my opponent. In the first inning, I felt good and threw the ball well, but in the second inning, I couldn’t get the ball up the middle or control the pitch well.”

Morel’s error at third base that led to the big inning in the fourth was not lost on Imanaga. “I had to make a play there (after the error), and it was unfortunate that I gave up a two-run homer after giving up three runs. I want to minimize the runs after my mistakes so that I don’t give up those runs in my next outing,” Imanaga said. He added: “The game went in a bad direction because of my errors. I’m grateful to the batsmen for coming back to win the game, and I’ll try to help them next time,” he said.

“Baseball is a game of luck sometimes,” Imanaga said. I think the luck factor has been a big part of what I’ve been able to do so far,” Imanaga said humbly, adding, ‘I think this is where I’m really going to be tested, so I’m going to believe in myself and do my best.’

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