DETROIT -- A's reliever Pat Neshek, grief-stricken over the death of his newborn son Gehrig two days earlier, rejoined the team Friday.
Neshek said it was his wife, Stephanee, who suggested they fly from their home in Florida and join the A's in Detroit for the American League Divisional Series that begins Saturday against the Tigers.
"We were locked up in the house," Neshek said, speaking slowly to keep himself composed. "You could sit there all day. I can imagine that's what hell is like. It was tough, but seeing a lot of the support from guys, other players around baseball, fans of baseball, it really helped us.
"If nothing else, we kind of wanted to do it my son's honor to come back."
Gehrig died Wednesday just 23 hours after he was born. The Nesheks still don't know the cause of death, but they're having an autopsy performed.
Neshek left the team Monday to be with his wife. She gave birth Tuesday.
He was home watching the A's division-clinching game against Texas on Wednesday when he got a call from Stephanee, who was still at the hospital.
"I got a call in the fifth inning of that last game and she said, 'The baby stopped breathing,'" Neshek said. "That was really hard. We didn't know what to do because people were sending us texts (of) congratulations. ... We never found out (what was wrong), and an hour later they're saying, 'Do you want to bury your son?'
"It's hard to just process any of it."
Neshek quickly sent out a Twitter and Facebook message letting people know the devastating news. He said he was moved by the outpouring of support.
"It was pretty amazing, just talking with friends and hearing stories from complete strangers, how much it helps with the grieving process," he said.
A's reliever Jim Miller, whose son, Ethan, was born in July, said he can't imagine what the Nesheks are going through.
"We found out about it Wednesday night," Miller said. "I was holding our son, and I don't think I put him down for another hour."
It's still unknown how much Neshek will pitch in the A.L.D.S., or if he'll even be a part of the 25-man roster. The A's brought 28 players to Detroit.
But he's glad his wife suggested he return to the team, and he texted her on the team bus to let her know.
Gehrig was the Nesheks' first child, and Pat said he and Stephanee will probably never fully get over the loss.
"I'm not really big on when other people have babies," he said. "I don't look at it as that big of a deal. But that's probably the best day I ever had. I'd go through it all again just for that one day."
Neshek might be a candidate along with Travis Blackley, if the A's go with Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, Brett Anderson and A.J. Griffin as their starters, though Blackley also has value as a long reliever.
Among the players who didn't make the trip, and therefore won't play this series unless there's an injury: Pitcher Dan Straily, second baseman Jemile Weeks and first baseman Daric Barton.
"It's tough," outfielder Jonny Gomes said. "You could make arguments on both sides, but I always thought it's pretty special to be able to clinch at home. With this seeding, it'll allow us to do that if we're fortunate enough to do that."
"I think they probably like the fact that a lot of people are saying they might be the underdog in this series, even though they've won more games than us, which is crazy."
Gomes' take on the whole underdog question.
"I'm sure whoever gives us the underdog title are the same people who said we were gonna lose 100 games this year."
Wolff also had no comment on a petition being circulated by the group "Let's Go Oakland" trying to get the A's to remove the tarps for Divisional Series home games.
"It kinda makes you wonder if they have a job, or a really lenient boss."