Monday night was one to remember for St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Daniel Poncedeleon. The 26-year-old right-handed pitcher went seven innings allowing no hits while striking out three and walking three batters in his MLB debut.
The Cardinals went on to lose the game 2-1, but the night was still a special one for Poncedeleon, who just 14 months ago, had to have emergency brain surgery after getting hit in the head by a line drive.
St. Louis manager Mike Shildt praised the toughness that Poncedeleon has shown in his comeback from the injury when speaking with reporters after the game. From stltoday.com:
“Talk about a comeback story,” manager Mike Shildt said. “We’re in the process of one here (so) it’s only fitting that maybe he’s a part of that. I can’t even imagine what he dealt with, and there for a while it was touch and go just from a lifestyle standpoint, quality of life for him. To be so dogmatic with his mindset that, ‘I’m going to pitch again and I’m going to pitch in the big leagues.’ We’re going to see that sooner than later. It’s impressive.”
Poncedeleon missed nearly all of last season recovering from the injury, but he has been shining in the minors so far this year, posting a 9-3 record with a 2.15 ERA in 92 innings of work with the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds. He told Fox Sports Midwest that he never worried about not being able to get back onto the field after his injury, always maintaining faith.
Today, we found out that Poncedeleon’s start is historic, as he’s only the second pitcher since 1908 to not allow a hit in his MLB debut.