(Photo courtesy of Scott Wachter/San Diego)

The problems were not only physical but mental. Stammen was struggling with fear and trust.  The fear of not being as good as he was earlier in his career and a lack of trust that his stuff was good enough to get big league hitters out. That's when he was reminded of the Bible quote from 2 Timothy 1:7, which says "God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of sound mind."

 

"That made me a whole lot more powerful while I was on the mound doing my job," Stammen said, "trying to do it for Him and knowing that I have nothing to lose because Jesus does love me no matter what I accomplish or don’t accomplish on the field.”

 

The San Diego front office kept their faith in Stammen and continued to give him opportunities. Manager Andy Green gave Stammen a quote from Ecclesiastes 7:14, that explains all things come from God, both good and bad. God gave Stammen this adversity, but he also gave Stammen the abilities to climb out of it. He began to put one good outing after another together, and over the final 70.2 innings of the season, he gave up just 17 runs - an ERA of just 2.17.

 

Stammen also has another fan in his corner now, in addition to his wife... a baby boy. 

 

"It's amazing - I tell you what, you feel all of God's love when you know you're going to have a baby," Stammen said. "And then when the baby is born, it's an amazing miracle, and an amazing gift from God, that he's given you a kid to raise up in his ways."

 

When the 2018 season began, Stammen picked up right where he left off, pitching his first 13.1 innings without giving up a single run. Even when he does occasionally struggle, and the temptation to be afraid of failure starts to creep back in, Stammen says to himself "The joy of the Lord is my strength."

 
 

(Photo courtesy of Scott Wachter/San Diego)

That doesn't mean Stammen is going to be flawless on the mound. But it does mean that regardless of his performance, his mind is in the right place. If he ever forgets that God is cheering for his success, all he has to do is turn to the stands and find his wife and son.

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Thomas Hager1 Comment