Justin Steele's latest career milestone highlights a rare Chicago Cubs' feat

Los Angeles Angels v Chicago Cubs
Los Angeles Angels v Chicago Cubs / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Justin Steele had been pitching like his normal self over the past month or so, but he was constantly being bitten by misfortune. Little offensive support and/or bullpen meltdowns cost him multiple opportunities to get a win in the record books. On Friday that streak was broken when Steele's complete game two-hitter against the Angels got him his first victory since September 4 of last year. It was his first career complete game and his effort lowered his season ERA to 2.95 over 13 starts.

Steele's final line: 9 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 K throwing 95 pitches

He was very efficient, getting ahead of hitters, and got a lot of early swings for outs. Give credit to some exceptional defense from Miles Mastrobuoni at third and Dansby Swanson at short as well. The Cubs offense scored 5 runs thanks to some timely two-out hitting to give Steele plenty of cushion to pitch comfortably.

Justin Steele secures footing atop of Cubs' rotation

Seeing pitchers go the distance is pretty rare these days, but it was fitting that after everything Steele has given, his first win of the year would be a complete game. Marquee's Christopher Kamka noted after the game that Steele is the first pitcher drafted by the Cubs to pitch a complete game in a Cubs uniform since Jeff Samardzija on August 19, 2013. Over a decade ago on a rebuilding team.

One of the things we saw during the Theo Epstein era was little homegrown starting pitching. The rotation in 2016 was all made up of pitchers who were not drafted by the Cubs. In fact, Rob Zastryzny's one start in 2016 was the only start that entire season by a pitcher drafted by the Cubs. In the following years after the championship the Cubs still could not quite get that homegrown starter, until Steele came along several seasons ago.

It has been a really rough season but Steele has been fun to watch recently. Since his rough outings against the Pirates when he first came back from the hamstring injury, he has looked very good. If anyone deserved a win on that staff, it was definitely Steele.