Found October 06, 2012 on Fox Sports Detroit:
DETROIT -- The official attendance for Game 1 of the Tigers-Athletics series was 43,323. Pat Neshek is convinced that there was at least one more. Pitching just three days after the death of his newborn son, Neshek entered Saturday's game in the seventh inning with two runners on and one out. Fighting overpowering emotions, he nearly got Omar Infante to ground into an inning-ending double play, but Infante beat the relay to first. With runners now on the corners, Neshek struck out Austin Jackson with a hard-breaking slider. "I know it sounds like a cliche, but I really felt like there was someone watching over me and helping me throw that last pitch," Neshek said, fighting back tears. "That was the best slider I've thrown all year." Neshek's wife Stephanee had the same thought, posting a picture of a baby-sized A's outfit to Twitter. "This was going to be Gehrig's first outfit," she said. "I know he will be watching Pat and he is so proud of his daddy." Neshek said he had hoped that getting back on the mound would clear his mind, at least for a few minutes, but that didn't work. "It was really tough warming up, because I never stopped thinking about him," he said. "Even on the mound, he never left my thoughts. I just grabbed the baseball and tried to do my job, but he was always there." After striking out Jackson, Neshek made his way off the field, he looked toward his wife and reached up to touch the "GJN" patch on his right sleeve -- a patch being worn by the Athletics to honor Gehrig John Neshek's short life. "I couldn't see Stephanee, but I knew where she was sitting," he said. "That gesture -- all of this -- was for all three of us." Saturday's performance comes at the end of a week that has seen Neshek's family go through an incredible rollercoaster of emotions. On Monday, as Oakland celebrated clinching an improbable playoff berth, Neshek learned that his wife had gone into labor. Gehrig Neshek was born without trouble on Tuesday, and the new family celebrated Wednesday afternoon as the Athletics beat the Rangers to win the American League West title. That evening -- just 23 hours after his birth -- Gehrig suddenly stopped breathing, dying as baffled doctors tried to save him. An autopsy has been scheduled, but as of now, the Nesheks don't know what caused Gehrig's death. "That was the best day of my life -- I will never forget what we had with him, even if it was just 23 hours," Pat Neshek said. "After that, though, we didn't know what to do. We were just sitting and wondering what to do next, and Stephanee said that we needed to get out of the house and try to get our lives back, so we should come to Detroit with the team." When Neshek joined the Athletics, manager Bob Melvin knew exactly what he was going to do. "If Pat was here, and he wanted to pitch, he was going on the playoff roster," Melvin said. "I didn't have to discuss that with him, and I didn't have to think twice. He's a key member of this team, and if he wanted to be here, he was going to be on the field with us." Melvin was just as decisive Saturday when it came time to replace starter Jarrod Parker in the seventh. "We wanted to try to get him into a game sooner rather than later," he said. "I don't know if there is ever a soft landing spot in the playoffs, but that certainly wasn't one. He did a great job, though. He almost got a double play, and then he got a strikeout." Neshek's performance drew cheers from the Comerica Park crowd and admiration from both teams and around baseball. "It's unbelievable what Pat is doing," teammate Josh Reddick said. "If something like that had happened to me, I'm not sure I would have even been able to sleep at this point, and he's here with us, getting big outs in a playoff game. It's incredible." Tigers catcher Alex Avila agreed. "My wife is pregnant right now, and I can't even imagine what he's going through," he said. "I know he's a tough guy, but now he has my respect forever. That was pretty tough right there." Neshek's courageous outing even drew applause from another pitcher famous for making a gutty postseason out -- Curt Schilling. Schilling pitched a key game for the Red Sox with blood seeping through his sock from a surgically repaired ankle. "My ankle was a scratch compared to what Pat Neshek just did, not even in the same universe," he tweeted, moments after Neshek struck out Jackson. Neshek won't have much time to think about the night's events -- Game 2 is scheduled to start just 15 hours after the end of Game 1 -- but this week will be something that he never forgets. "We'll never get over this -- that's not how it works," he said. "But this is the way we start to put things back together."
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES
IN LOVING MEMORY

A's wear patch for Pat Neshek's son

n/a

Pat Neshek Pitches Hitless Two-Thirds of an Inning in A's Loss Three Days After Newborn Son's Death

Pat Neshek was back on the mound just three days after the tragic passing of his newborn son. Neshek came in for the A's in relief and pitched two-thirds of an inning of hitless baseball with one strikeout in the seventh inning in the ALDS against Detroit. Neshek's son, Gherig John, was born on Oct. 2 and died suddenly just 23 hours later. The cause of death is still unknown...

Coco Crisp makes horrendous error against Tigers

Not one of the finer moments for Oakland A’s center fielder, Coco Crisp.During the 7th inning of the ALDS game against the Tigers, Crisp attempted a basket catch, which unfortunately, bounced out of his mitt.The error cost the Athletics two runs. The Athletics are now down, 3-2. Maybe next time Crisp will focus a little more closely on the ball than his showboat.

Tough to watch: A's pitcher Pat Neshek pitched last night for the first time since his newborn son died 23-hours after birth

Oakland A's pitcher Pat Neshek threw 2/3 of an inning last night in his return to the mound after the tragic death of his newborn son Wednesday, Gehrig John Neshek. Athletics players wore a GJN patch... Full story at Bob's Blitz ~ http://www.bobsblitz.com

Al Alburquerque Kisses Ball Before Throwing to First, Josh Reddick Not Happy With Gesture (Animation)

Josh Reddick probably isn't happy that his Athletics are down 2-0 in the ALDS to the Tigers, but that's not all he was fuming about after Game 2. As Tigers pitcher Al Alburquerque recorded the final out in the top of the ninth inning, he kissed the ball before tossing it underhand to first baseman Prince Fielder. Reddick wasn't pleased with the gesture. Dave Hogg from...

A's fan goes nuts in stands after team wins division (Video)

On Wednesday the Oakland Athletics won the American League West division championship in front of their home fans at the O.co Coliseum. The A's celebrated when the final out was made, but one fan in the stands stood out for his exuberant style of celebrating that was conveniently captured on another fan's cellphone. We'll go out on a limb and say that this A&...

No quit in these A's

DETROIT -- The Oakland Athletics know all the clichs. Their backs are against the wall. There's no tomorrow. It's do or die ... win or go home ... one and done. As a matter of fact, they know them so well that they feel right at home. After losing Game 2 of their American League Division Series with the Detroit Tigers, 5-4, on Sunday, the Athletics need to win three straight...

Parker's error helps Tigers beat A's 3-1 in Game 1

Jarrod Parker pitched well enough to keep Oakland in the game against Detroit. Trying to field his position proved costly to the Athletics. Parker's error allowed the Tigers to score a go-ahead run in the third inning of a 3-1 win over the A's Saturday night in Game 1 of their AL division series. The right-handed rookie scooped Quintin Berry's dribbler down the first...

The Baseball Playoffs Start Today: Are You As Excited As This Oakland A’s Fan?

This old dude was super excited that the Oakland Athletics had a 6 game winning streak to close out the regular season, edging Texas by 1 game in the AL West, thus sending the Rangers into... [[ Read More ]]

Oakland vs Detroit: A Story of Depth

If you hadn’t been paying close attention to the Athletics and the Tigers, you might have a couple preconceptions about the matchup. Maybe “old, slow sluggers” vs “speedy upstart youngsters.” Or maybe “tradition” vs “moneyball two.” Or maybe even “offense and an ace” vs “pitching and defense.” Delve further into the numbers, though, and this matchup between...

Athletics-Tigers Preview

One team has the reigning MVP and another player who just won the Triple Crown. The Oakland Athletics will try to counter all that by sending - who else? - a rookie to the mound. ''We've been the `David' all year,'' A's right-hander Jarrod Parker said. ''I think obviously it's a role and an image that we've kind of taken on and been able...

LDS Preview Part 1 of 2: Who Ya Got?

ALDS: Athletics v. Tigers 6:07 PM TBSOn December 9, 2011, the Oakland A’s traded Trevor Cahill and Craig Breslow to Arizona. In return they received, Ryan Cook, Collin Cowgill and their Game 1 LDS starter, Jarrod Parker.If you are one of those baseball fans that hate Billy Beane, enjoy rooting against the best story in baseball through October. Oakland represents everything that...

MLB Star Celebrates Ric Flair-Style, TNA Stars At FWE Event

– MLB star Josh Reddick celebrated the Oakland A’s AL West division title on Wednesday by dressing in a Ric Flair robe and chugging beers like Steve Austin. Reddick, who is a noted wrestling fan, drew coverage from Sports Illustrated for his celebration. – Family Wrestling Entertainment debuts on iPPV tonight with the following card… * FWE champion Tommy Dreamer vs. Rhino...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.