Cardinals' Daniel Poncedeleon throws seven no-hit innings in historic MLB debut

St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Daniel Poncedeleon made his big-league debut on Monday night in memorable fashion, throwing seven no-hit innings against the Cincinnati Reds.

Poncedeleon, who before this was known for nearly dying last season after being struck in the head by a line drive, tossed 116 pitches and recorded three strikeouts and walks apiece. He did most of his work with his fastball, which sat around 93 mph, and finished the night having coerced 10 swinging strikes on his heater. He also induced three swings-and-misses on his breaking balls, and threw 65 percent of pitches for strikes overall.

The Cardinals pinch-hit for Poncedeleon in the top of the eighth, inserting Harrison Bader. From there, they turned to Jordan Hicks, who surrendered a hit to Phillip Ervin with one out in the bottom of the eighth, dashing any hopes the Cards had at a combined no-hit effort.

Poncedeleon had previously been called up earlier in the year without getting into a game. He'd spent the rest of the season in Triple-A, appearing 18 times and posting a 2.15 ERA with a 2.15 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Had Poncedeleon completed the no-hit bid, he would've been the first pitcher since Bob Holloman to accomplish the feat in his first start. Holloman, oddly enough, did so for the St. Louis Browns in 1953, when he was a 30-year-old rookie. He'd make just nine other starts, finding little success and never appearing in the majors again after that season.

Poncedeleon figures to do better -- even if he didn't finish out the no-hitter. 

The Cardinals, by the way, wound up losing 2-1. Bud Norris allowed a pair of runs in the ninth, blowing the save and game alike.

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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