MLB News: The Chicago Cubs found their Ace
In the annals of the MLB Franchise Chicago Cubs, a new star is rising, shaping the very narrative of the team’s success. In a recent clash against the San Francisco Giants, Justin Steele, a prodigious talent the Cubs have been nurturing for years, demonstrated his mettle. His performance on Monday, resulting in a convincing 5-0 triumph, was not just a testimony to his prowess but also cemented his standing in the race for the Cy Young Award. What it underlined more pertinently was the Cubs’ capability to shine when it matters the most.
MLB Lines already took notice and usually favor the Cubs in games where Steele is scheduled to start. On that scorching day, with the temperature hovering around 89 degrees, Steele was the embodiment of precision and endurance. Eight innings without conceding a run, two solitary singles, and a staggering twelve strikeouts. His teammates, too, rose to the occasion, providing solid defense and capitalizing on crucial hitting moments.
Steele Numbers on the MLB
At 28, Steele, a ten-season veteran with the Cubs organization, seems to be reaching his pinnacle. From being picked in the fifth round of the 2014 MLB Draft, battling through Tommy John surgery, to navigating through the mazes of a major-market overhaul, for Steele, slowing down isn’t an option.
Statistics provide a clearer view. The Cubs have tasted victory in 13 out of the last 14 games where Steele was on the mound. The momentum began to shift during a period marred with uncertainty, precisely when Steele returned to post his injury hiatus due to left forearm tightness. This was a time when the Cubs hadn’t really found their rhythm, lingering below the .500 mark as late as mid-June. Yet, Steele’s contribution was significant, with notable wins over stalwarts like the Baltimore Orioles and Atlanta Braves, who seem like the best teams in the American League and National League respectively. In these games, MLB Odds didn’t favor Chicago.
This also includes two pivotal triumphs amidst the eight-game winning spree in July, prompting the management to invest more at the trade deadline. The Cubs have also celebrated wins under Steele’s leadership against formidable starters like Charlie Morton, Chris Bassitt, Corbin Burnes, and most recently, Logan Webb.
The Giants, known for their strategic acumen in exploiting platoon advantages, presented a lineup dominated by right-handed hitters. Yet, Steele’s performance made history. He is now etched in the Cubs’ records as the first left-handed starting pitcher since 1901 to toss at least eight scoreless innings, conceding two or fewer hits, and striking a minimum of 12 batters. To put this into perspective, the last Cubs starter to achieve this feat, irrespective of their dominant hand, was Jake Arrieta during his iconic 2015 no-hitter at Dodger Stadium. That very performance was instrumental in Arrieta clinching a Cy Young Award.
For Steele, mentioning his name in the Cy Young Award conversations is both “really cool” and “quite the honor”. For the Cubs and their fans, it signifies a future laden with promises and victories.
David Ross, the Cubs manager, cautions against drawing parallels between Steele’s recent form and the illustrious career that has made Jon Lester a Hall of Fame contender. Yet, Ross, with his experience as a former catcher, appreciates the essence of the query. It’s about recognizing another lefty who remains unwavering in his approach, understands his prowess, showcases aggression on the mound, and stays unyielding.