Kelloggs Cards

Kelloggs Cards

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Rich Gossage - Richie Zisk - Jon Matlack - Ron Guidry on Opening Days

I was surprised to read that Rich Gossage and Richie Zisk had a few opening day battles.  I think of both of them as White Sox players even though that certainly how others see it.

Gossage, who is getting a lot a grief lately for talking about playing the game right, played only five seasons with the White Sox and one with the Cubs.  Of his nine teams, he played the longest with the Yankees - 7 years.

Zisk only played one of his 13 seasons with the White Sox.  That was quite an entertaining season, even for a Cub fan like me.  Zisk played for the White Sox just after Gossage left the team.

On opening day in 1978 Rich Gossage pitched a scoreless eighth inning in a 1-1 tie.  In the bottom of the ninth Zisk led off the inning with a walk-off homer against Gossage.  Jon Matlack won for the Rangers giving up one run in nine innings.  Ron Guidry gave up one run in seven innings for the Yankees.

Spin forward to opening day in 1980.  Gossage enters the game to pitch to Zisk in the 12th inning of a 0-0 tie.  He throws a wild pitch on his first pitch of the contest and the winning run scores from third.  Did he remember the 1978 outcome before throwing this pitch?  Guidry and Matlack paired up again in this one.  Both threw nine scoreless innings.

Zisk only hit two homers in 16 at-bats against Gossage.  Gossage never gave up more than three homers to any player - Brett had three including a famous one in the Pine Tar Game.  In over 1,800 innings Gossage only surrendered 119 homers.  

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