After Severe Head Injury, Pitcher Daniel Poncedeleon Unhittable in Debut
The Cardinals ace threw seven innings of no-hit ball against the Reds.
On Monday night, St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Daniel Poncedeleon became the fifth pitcher to carry a no-hit bid through seven innings in his MLB debut in the expansion era (since 1961).
The Elias Sports Bureau doesn’t track stats like this, but we’d wager he’s the first pitcher to do such a thing 14 months after suffering a near-fatal head injury.
Poncedeleon, who underwent brain surgery after taking a line drive to the head during a Triple-A game in May of 2017, tossed 116 pitches and had three strikeouts and walks during his outing.
Despite his stellar stats, the Cardinals took Poncedeleon out of the game at the top of the eighth inning and wound up losing the game 2-1. Despite the outcome, the evening was a happy one for the St. Louis organization and their 26-year-old hurler.
“I don’t know if words can describe that,” said interim Cardinals manager Mike Shildt. “It’s what’s magical about this game and what we love about this game – stories like that.”
in Triple-A this season, Poncedeleon appeared 18 times and posted a 2.15 ERA with a 2.15 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Given his stellar outing, he’ll likely remain in the major leagues.
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