When I came down the bullpen stairs in Philadelphia, after that big brawl in Game 6 of the NLCS, you could say I was fully aware of the significance of the situation. I had about 50,000 white towels being thrown in front of my eyes, and the noise level was deafening. The mound was vibrating, and Ryan Howard, one of the most dangerous offensive threats in the game, was sitting there at the plate.
In fact, I had the most dangerous middle of the lineup in the National League ready to hit off me, with runners on first and second with no outs. It wasn’t like a bunch of high school baseball players up there. Man! This was not an easy task.
And so when I got out there I said, “I know who I am, and I know what kind of stuff I have, and this is the time.” I literally said that to myself on the mound. I said, “Jesus, this is the time that You have given me.” Bochy handed me the ball, and there were some words in there that I probably shouldn’t blog about! But essentially he said, “Hey, you hold them right here, and we’re going to win this game.” And I took that ball, and I said, “Yes, sir.” And then I said, “God, this is Your time.”
And all of a sudden my body reacted just like it was supposed to react. It was not tight. It wasn’t fearful. It was just at peace. And I had this confidence that I truly believe only God could give me in such a time as that.
So I can’t say, “I did it.” I can’t take full credit. Those two scoreless innings are just an amazing testimony about what God can do. He gave me the peace I needed. He gave me the rhythm that I needed to have, and the feeling I needed to have for all my pitches. He gave me what I needed right there. I asked Him for it, and you know what? He smiled. He smiled on me, and afterwards, I know He was laughing. Because the Bible does say, He who sits in the heavens laughs. (Psalms 2:4)
He laughs because He says, “I can do whatever I want.” He chuckles at the thought of what He can do. To Him it is so little, but to us it is so great. He laughs and he says, “To you, that was unbelievable, to the media world and to your teammates.” I mean, people would have made bets in Vegas against that scenario coming out the way it did. But God says, “I do what I want to do, and I’ll laugh at it. Because that is nothing for me. If you think that’s big, you haven’t seen anything yet.” And I think that’s why He laughs.
Next time, I’ll finish up my playoff reflections. Get ready for some last thoughts on how I kept so calm in the middle of all that intensity. See you Friday.