Home » Baseball » Thumbs Up to God! Part 1

Thumbs Up to God! Part 1

This year’s postseason was a little different for me than the 2010 postseason. In 2010, I wasn’t as much a part of the postseason as I was this year. In 2010, I was definitely part of one big game, one of the biggest games of my career. It was really cool to be such a big part of that one situation and that one game. But this time around, I was in almost every game, pitching in very big situations. It felt like I was always there, in the seventh and eighth innings, with the game on the line.

In Game 5 of the Division Series in Cincinnati, I pitched a scoreless seventh and got us out of a jam. I walked up into the dugout because I was going back out for the eighth inning. A line drive came right at me into the dugout. Did you see it? I fell down the dugout steps avoiding the ball, and sprained the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of my thumb. It was a pretty good sprain. I couldn’t throw a curveball! I couldn’t even grip the ball the way I wanted to.

ThumbSprainMan! Think about it. We were going to the NLCS and I couldn’t throw a curveball very well. Plus I had to change up my grip on my other two pitches in order to throw without pain. There were even times when I couldn’t play catch because I was in so much pain.

I said, “God, how am I going to do this? I’m in big games. They’re relying on me to pitch!” My thumb hurt so bad every day. Waking up, it hurt so much. I needed a couple of hours of therapy each day, just to get my thumb ready to pitch in these games.

I can remember walking out there for every game and just asking God, “Please. I know I’m asking again, and I know it’s starting to become an every day request, but I need mercy, and I need grace, and I need you to take the pain away from my thumb. I need you to allow me just to focus on executing my pitch.”

And it happened. Every time I went out to pitch, it happened. There would be times when my thumb hurt so bad trying to pitch that I had to stick with pitches that didn’t hurt, and they were the right pitches to throw. And then when my thumb didn’t hurt, I’d throw my curveball, and it was a good curveball. And it was the right pitch to throw! It was as if God knew the pain I was in, but He took it away from me if He needed to, in order to allow me to throw a certain pitch.

So this time around, the postseason was a time of grace. A lot of grace. And mercy. I had a lot of peace out there when I was pitching. I felt like I had really, really strong focus. And I just remember feeling a tremendous amount of mercy. It renewed my sense of what the postseason can be like. This time, God smiled in a different way. More on this next time. See you Wednesday.

6 thoughts on “Thumbs Up to God! Part 1

  1. I have to say, Jeremy, you had a lot of fans praying for you every time you pitched! I have had that injury before and know how painful it can be! Was amazed how God answered prayers during the postseason for you!

  2. Oh Jeremy! I think you did receive much in the way of grace and mercy in the postseason. God knew what you needed and you asked. I think I replied to an earlier posting of yours that I think that the Giants were able to make such an amazing run in the postseason was that God was honoring them because they often remembered to honor him. Prayer is a powerful thing. I have a strong belief in this. And this belief has only gotten stronger because I prayed a lot for you guys last season and much of what I prayed for was answered in one way or another.

  3. While I appreciate that your faith allowed you to pitch thru your pain I think it’s the height of arrogance to believe that a god gave you the “mercy” to do so. You, a multimillionaire athlete pitching in a game get guidance and strength while bombs and missiles kill innocents in Israel and the Gaza Strip? Really Jeremy? This is a helluva God ya got! Guess he is a huge Giants fan, huh? Just one mans opinion. I wish you and the team good luck next year. The focus comes from within you, not from above.

    • Tom
      Obviously I can see your angry with my or our God. Not sure. However, you have obviously been offended thinking that God should stop everything bad thing from happening do to mans decisions and lack of ability to work through things peacefully. I do believe God could handle the situation but I not being God would rather pray for the peace to happen than tell God what he should do. Do to my belief in Him seeing the big picture and me seeing second to second in life I will refrain from it. I do believe that God is not so narrow sighted as man and he sees all that is going on. He is also big enough to hear my cry as well as others. I’ve often wondered why he will answer my little request when there are “bigger” deals going on in the world. If I chose to think that my prayers couldn’t be heard based on wars and rumors of wars that are taking place than I limit God to a mere man. Fortunately for me I don’t see Him that way and I choose to pray for mercy in my life as well as mercy for those in the Middle East during these trying times. Unfortunately we so easily want to blame God for the bad and when the good happens we say it “come from within”. Not on board with your view but you are certainly entitled to it. I hope your view brings you less anger than you seemed to project in your comment and have a Merry Christmas Tom

      Jeremy

  4. I’ll bore you with a fan’s story about your buddy, Mike Sweeney.

    Father’s Day, 2003. Against the Giants and Barry Bonds. My son, 12, was dying to see Bonds, so I took him. Still got the Royals’ BBQ set.

    Anyway, our starting pitching was dropping like flies, including you who had that awful blister problem that sent you back to the bullpen in a season that should have established you as a major league starter.

    So Allard Baird finds Jose Lima pitching in the independent leagues, and this was his Royals’ debut. (Bonds went yard that day, which thrilled the kid).

    Sweeney was DHing that day and he was banged up. You could see it from the upper deck every time he walked up to the plate. You almost hurt for him.

    So here we are in the bottom of the ninth, down 4-3. Berroa opened the inning with a double, and Brent Abernathy bunted him over to third. Tim Worrell struck out Desi Relaford for the second out. But Aaron Guiel worked him for a walk to bring Sweeney up with the tying run on third, winning run on first, two outs.

    On an 0-2 count, Sweeney sent a screamer into the right-field gap. Berroa scored easily. Guiel, running on contact, flew around the bases all the way from first and slid past the tag.
    As we were walking out, my son said to me, “Dad, that was the best baseball game I ever saw!”

    So the next day in the Kansas City Star, Sweeney is quoted as saying that his back and neck were killing him. He was kneeling in the batter’s box, when he decided to say a prayer. He said that he didn’t ask God for a base hit, or to win a ball game. You don’t ask God for things like that.

    Instead, he asked God for peace, and he got this overwhelming sense of peace and relaxation and God’s presence when he went to the plate.

    Maybe instead of mercy, God gave you the peace to cope with the pain you were in. Maybe he is saving his mercy for us for when we really need it standing before Him. Because we certainly won’t be asking for justice!

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