It's a first in Chicago White Sox history, so it almost goes without saying that today's do-or-die Game 3 in Oakland is a first for manager Ricky Renteria.
"I don’t know that there’s an anxiety," Renteria said pregame, with a laugh. "We think it’s fun. We have multiple scenarios as to how we’ll go through today. I’m glad we’re here."
Ricky named Dane Dunning has his Game 3 starter, quite a heady assignment for a player with fewer than 10 big-league appearances.
"He’s a starter," Renteria explained as the winning measure for choosing Dunning. "But it’s a great experience for him, and we believe he’s capable. Whoever it was, anyone could run long or run short. He can manage pitching in the big leagues, and do it well. Any of the young men we chose would have done well."
At the time he spoke to the media, Renteria had not yet gone onto the field to observe how left fielder Eloy Jiménez was moving. Eloy did end up in the lineup for the first time in the series, but in a limited (DH) role.
"You have two things to think about: risk-reward, and how much can he actually help me," Renteria theorized. "A DH spot is still possible for him, but that said, their health is also a main concern of mine."
As always, Renteria was optimistic and upbeat, at one point having a good laugh:
"Let’s face it, we need to do a lot of good things today."
Ricky Renteria footage courtesy of the Chicago White Sox.