DETROIT -- It seemed like A's second baseman Mark Kiger was nothing more than an innocuous defensive replacement when he entered Game 3 of the American League Championship Series in the bottom of the eighth inning. The reality is that he was doing something nobody had ever done before.
Kiger became the first player in baseball history to make his Major League debut in the postseason. That's right, Kiger had never played a single inning for the A's until Friday.
Because Mark Ellis fractured his right index finger in Oakland's Division Series sweep over the Twins, the A's needed to activate another infielder for the ALCS.
Enter Kiger, whose presence was necessary in Game 3 after Bobby Kielty pinch-hit for second baseman D'Angelo Jimenez in the top of the eighth.
"First time in the big leagues, it's pretty nerve-wracking," said Kiger, who hit .233 in 61 games for Triple-A Sacramento.
Kiger's only action came when shortstop Marco Scutaro flipped a throw to him for a 6-4 force. He never got to take an at-bat in Oakland's 3-0 loss.
"It felt good," said Kiger. "My dad was here. I get more nervous playing in front of my dad than anyone else. Him being here took my mind off of the crowd."
Will making his debut on such a big stage make life easier for Kiger when he makes his regular season debut?
"I don't know, I think the whole atmosphere is mental," said Kiger. "You just play the game and if you get caught up [in] it, it's probably going to be a negative outcome."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.