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Tuesday
Jul242018

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher stuns with incredible MLB debut 14 months after horrific injury

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) -- The St. Louis Cardinals’ Daniel Poncedeleon dazzled on the mound with no-hit pitching in his first major league appearance Monday night, just 14 months after his career and life were on the line.

Poncedeleon was starting for the Triple-A minor league Memphis Redbirds in Tennessee last year when he was struck in the right temple by a line drive, suffering a fracture and epidural hematoma (brain bleed) requiring emergency surgery.

He missed the remainder of the minor league season and now reportedly wears a carbon fiber insert in his ball cap.

The 26-year-old right-hander threw seven no-hit innings against the Cincinnati Reds before he was removed for a pinch hitter, making him just the second pitcher to do so in a major league debut. Ross Stripling did it for the Dodgers in 2016, throwing just over seven hitless innings.

While Poncedeleon made the come back of his career, his valiant effort wasn’t enough for the Cards, whose bullpen blew the 1-0 lead and fell to the Reds 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning.

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