I just received word from his mother that church member Jason Shiell, former Red Sox relief pitcher who is currently pitching with the AAA minor-league Richmond Braves, will be called up for a "spot pitch" to replace an injured pitcher, and will be the starting pitcher for the Atlanta Braves in St. Louis tomorrow night, Wednesday, July 19.
Jason and his wife and his parents are all members of First Baptist Church of Rincon. Jason pitched as a relief pitcher for the Braves, was later traded to the Red Sox, where he was also a relief pitcher, and then suffered an injury. After rehabilitation and some playing time in the independent leagues, he signed with the Braves again this year, and he has been pitching with the AAA minor-league Braves team in Richmond, Virginia.
Jason has an "Athlete's Prayer" typed on paper and laminated that he reads every time he pitches, and he will be wearing it under his cap tomorrow night. It was on engraved on a cup that his grandmother gave him before she died. Now his mother types it up and laminates it for him each year. Here is the prayer. Let's lift him up in prayer, that he will do his best and have an opportunity to glorify the Lord through his talents.
"The Athlete's Prayer"(Unknown author)
Lord, please clear my head of all distractions
And my heart of burdens I may bear
So I may perform my very bestKnowing you'll be there
With great courage I will meet this challenge
As you would have me to
But keep me humble and remind me
That my strength comes from knowing you.
Then when all eyes are upon me
At the end of this big game
I will turn their eyes to you, O Lord,
And to the glory of your name.
UPDATE: Jason pitched four innings, but was taken out of the game as he got tired and the Cardinals took the lead. I thought he threw accurately. He was throwing a lot of pitches that were on the edge of the strike zone that the umpire was calling balls. Altogether, he threw 81 pitches and had six strikeouts, while allowing three walks, four hits, and four runs. He faced Albert Pujols, one of the greatest hitters in the game, twice. Both times he threw on the edges, refusing to give Pujols anything easy to hit, and Pujols laid off the pitches and walked both times. According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Jason said, “I was pleased with the way I threw, but not satisfied."
The TV commentators were impressed with Jason's ability and said so several times on the air. Let's hope Braves manager Bobby Cox feels the same way. Now I've got to find a picture of him in a Braves hat and get rid of that Boston picture!