Signed as an infielder, Keough was heralded by A's owner Charley Finley as Sal Bando's
successor at third base. But when Keough hit .210 in Double-A in 1976, Finley put
him on the mound. He joined Oakland a year later, and as a sophomore in 1978 was
the A's only All-Star. He remained in the rotation on Finley's orders in 1979 despite
a 2-17 record; he lost his first 14 decisions to tie the ML record for most consecutive
losses at the start of a season. But his 16-13 mark in 1980 won him AL Comeback Player
of the Year honors. He slumped to 11-18 (5.72) in 1982, tying for the AL lead in
losses. Nursing a sore arm, he bounced around before landing in Japan, where his
father, major leaguer Marty Keough, had played in 1968. His uncle, Joe Keough, spent
most of his six-year career with the A's.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»August 8, 1979: Oakland's Matt Keough loses to California 8–1, running his season record to 0-14, and tying a dubious ML record. His 14 straight loses ties him for the 4th spot in the AL.
»September 5, 1979: Matt Keough of the A's beats the Brewers 6–1 for his first victory after 14 straight losses. He ended 1978 with four defeats and barely avoided tying the American League record of 19 consecutive losses.
»April 16, 1980: Oakland's Matt Keough matches last season's victory total with his 2nd win in as many starts, 6–1 over Seattle. Keough was 2-17 in 1979.
»August 10, 1980: Steve McCatty becomes the 4th A's starter to pitch a 14-inning complete game this season, losing 2–1 to Seattle despite pitching a 6-hitter. Teammates Matt Keough (on May 17th), Mike Norris (June 11th), and Rick Langford (July 20th) have also pitched 14-inning complete games for manager Billy Martin, who will later be widely criticized for ruining their arms through overwork.
»March 16, 1992: Angels P Matt Keough is hit in the head by a batted ball during an exhibition game in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is taken to the hospital and undergoes emergency surgery to remove a blood clot.