Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Rich Gossage

Hall-of-Famers as Seen Through Player Won-Lost Records: Rich Gossage

Rich Gossage was elected to the Hall of Fame in his 9th year of eligibility, 2008, with 85.8% of the vote.

Five highlights of Rich Gossage's career: The first two tables below present Rich Gossage's career as measured by Player won-lost records, in and out of context.

Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWORL pWOPA
1972CHA20
36
4.44.21.00.2
1973CHA21
21
1.83.9-1.7-2.1
1974CHA22
39
3.75.2-0.9-1.6
1975CHA23
62
12.16.96.74.9
1976CHA24
31
12.913.90.8-0.9
1977PIT25
72
11.17.35.23.6
1978NYA26
63
10.28.43.31.6
1979NYA27
36
4.22.91.81.2
1980NYA28
64
9.04.55.54.3
1981NYA29
32
4.72.42.82.2
1982NYA30
56
8.74.84.83.6
1983NYA31
57
8.86.23.62.3
1984SDN32
62
9.45.94.73.3
1985SDN33
50
7.23.24.83.8
1986SDN34
45
6.76.61.2-0.0
1987SDN35
40
4.03.31.20.5
1988CHN36
46
3.03.7-0.2-0.7
37
42
1.52.0-0.3-0.6
1990-38
-
----
1991TEX39
44
2.02.6-0.3-0.7
1992OAK40
30
1.51.60.1-0.2
1993OAK41
39
2.22.10.40.0
1994SEA42
36
1.40.80.80.6
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
1,003
130.4102.245.325.5
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
19
2.71.41.61.3
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
1,022
133.1103.647.026.8


Expected Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games eWins eLosses eWORL eWOPA
1972CHA20
36
4.14.50.5-0.2
1973CHA21
21
2.13.5-0.9-1.4
1974CHA22
39
4.44.50.5-0.2
1975CHA23
62
11.67.35.53.8
1976CHA24
31
13.113.61.3-0.4
1977PIT25
72
10.77.64.83.2
1978NYA26
63
10.48.23.62.0
1979NYA27
36
3.73.40.90.2
1980NYA28
64
7.95.63.42.2
1981NYA29
32
4.32.82.01.4
1982NYA30
56
8.35.24.02.8
1983NYA31
57
8.16.92.30.9
1984SDN32
62
8.17.22.31.0
1985SDN33
50
6.24.13.32.4
1986SDN34
45
6.17.20.1-1.1
1987SDN35
40
4.03.41.20.6
1988CHN36
46
3.33.40.4-0.2
37
42
1.81.70.40.1
1990-38
-
----
1991TEX39
44
2.32.30.3-0.1
1992OAK40
30
1.51.60.2-0.1
1993OAK41
39
2.12.20.2-0.2
1994SEA42
36
1.11.10.20.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
1,003
125.1107.536.516.7
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
19
2.41.71.00.7
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
1,022
127.5109.237.617.4


Working backwards in time, Goose Gossage is the fourth relief pitcher I come to in my series on Baseball Hall-of-Famers. Goose Gossage was, of course, one of the greatest relief pitchers of all time: undoubtedly one of the top five or so, arguably the second-best reliever ever. There are, however, only so many ways to show the greatest relief pitchers of all time and I think I've pretty much exhausted them in my three previous articles about Hall-of-Fame relievers. And Gossage shows up prominently in the tables presented in all three of those articles.

So, for some variety, for my article on Goose Gossage, I decided to take a look at the best games of his career. So here are the top games of Goose Gossage's career, as measured by net pWins (pWins minus pLosses).

First, a caveat. Goose Gossage pitched in 1,002 regular-season and 19 postseason games in his career (he also pinch ran in one game in 1973, which, obviously, does not rank among the greatest games of his career). He started 37 of these games. The vast majority of these games (and the last of them) were in 1976, when Goose Gossage started 29 games (out of 31 games total). Overall, Gossage's foray into the White Sox starting rotation didn't work out all that great. He finished the season with a traditional won-lost record of 9-17 (in large part because the White Sox finished 64-97 overall and 10th in the 12-team AL in runs scored) with a 3.94 ERA (vs. a league-average ERA of 3.52).

But within the 1976 season, Gossage pitched several excellent games. And excellent starting pitching performances tend to be more valuable than equally excellent relief pitching performances because starting pitchers pitch longer.

In fact, it turns out that three of the top four games in Gossage's career, as measured by net pWins (pWins minus pLosses), were during the 1976 season. So, I'm going to cheat a little bit and show the top two starting performances of Gossage's career (which rate as the top two overall games of his career), the top two regular-season relief performances of his career, and the top postseason performance of his career. All five of these games rank among the top ten games of Gossage's career, as measured by net pWins.
May 20, 1976
The best game in Goose Gossage's career, as measured by net pWins, was May 20, 1976, when Gossage pitched a complete-game 3-2 win over the Minnesota Twins. In the game, Gossage allowed 2 runs (both earned) on 7 hits, he walked nobody, with 8 strikeouts. After giving up an RBI single to Tony Oliva in the top of the 7th to let the Twins pull within one run, Gossage essentially became his own closer/fireman, retiring the last 8 batters he faced, striking out the last two of them.

The Player won-lost records by player for that game are shown in the next table.

Player Won-Lost Records by Player: Summary

Basic Player Won-Lost Records
(sorted by net pWins)
pWins pLosses Net pWins
 
1976 Minnesota Twins
Tom Burgmeier0.100.020.08
Tony Oliva0.090.020.07
Lyman Bostock0.180.160.01
Jerry Terrell0.010.000.01
Steve Braun0.090.12-0.02
Craig Kusick0.000.05-0.05
Bob Randall0.070.14-0.06
Dan Ford0.130.22-0.09
Danny Thompson0.040.17-0.13
Rod Carew0.030.22-0.19
Pete Redfern0.180.37-0.20
Larry Hisle0.060.26-0.20
Butch Wynegar0.030.25-0.22
Team Totals12-1
   
   
1976 Chicago White Sox
Rich Gossage0.940.280.66
Chet Lemon0.200.080.12
Rich Coggins0.200.080.12
Jorge Orta0.160.080.08
H. Pat Kelly0.100.040.06
Jack Brohamer0.160.100.06
Brian Downing0.050.030.02
Lamar Johnson0.020.02-0.01
Bucky Dent0.080.09-0.01
Ralph Garr0.070.10-0.04
Jim Spencer0.030.09-0.07
Team Totals211


August 1, 1976
Gossage's next best game came a little more than two months later, on August 1, 1976, against the California Angels. In this one, Gossage pitched a complete-game 2-1 victory with the only run scored by the Angels being unearned. For the game, Gossage held the Angels to 5 hits and 3 walks with 6 strikeouts. After the Angels scored their (unearned) run, Gossage closed the game by retiring 7 of the last 8 batters he faced, 3 via strikeout.

Player won-lost records for this game are summarized in the table below.

Player Won-Lost Records by Player: Summary

Basic Player Won-Lost Records
(sorted by net pWins)
pWins pLosses Net pWins
 
1976 Chicago White Sox
Rich Gossage0.880.230.65
Bill Stein0.250.050.20
Lamar Johnson0.240.070.17
Ralph Garr0.230.070.16
Jim Essian0.090.020.06
Jim Spencer0.000.00-0.00
Alan Bannister0.010.01-0.00
Jorge Orta0.060.07-0.02
Kevin Bell0.080.10-0.02
Chet Lemon0.090.13-0.04
Wayne Nordhagen0.040.10-0.06
Bucky Dent0.040.14-0.10
Team Totals211
   
   
1976 California Angels
Ron D. Jackson0.180.110.07
Frank Tanana0.380.340.04
Bruce Bochte0.140.14-0.00
Bill Melton0.050.07-0.01
Bob O. Jones0.000.06-0.06
Leroy Stanton0.000.08-0.08
Bobby Bonds0.070.18-0.11
Andy Etchebarren0.000.14-0.13
Tony Solaita0.060.19-0.14
Jerry Remy0.030.17-0.14
Mario Guerrero0.070.27-0.20
Dave Collins0.010.24-0.23
Team Totals12-1


September 3, 1978
The top relief performance of Goose Gossage's career - and the 4th-most valuable performance of his career - was on September 3, 1978, for the New York Yankees against the Seattle Mariners.

The Yankees had jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the Mariners by the end of the third inning. But Mariners' starter Rick Honeycutt toughened up after the third inning and shut out the Yankees on five hits after the third inning. Meanwhile, the Mariners cut the Yankees' lead in half with two runs off of Yankees starter Jim Beattie in the eighth inning.

The Yankees brought Sparky Lyle in for the ninth inning to close out a 4-2 win. But Lyle didn't have it. He faced three batters and gave up a single, single, and double, in that order. The Yankees' lead was down to 4-3, the Mariners had runners on second and third in the top of the ninth inning with nobody out.

That was the situation when Goose Gossage entered the game. Gossage proceeded to strike out the side. Game over; Yankees win, 4-3.

Player won-lost records for this game are summarized in the table below.

Player Won-Lost Records by Player: Summary

Basic Player Won-Lost Records
(sorted by net pWins)
pWins pLosses Net pWins
 
1978 Seattle Mariners
Bill Stein0.270.110.16
Ruppert Jones0.100.030.07
Dan T. Meyer0.140.130.01
Larry Milbourne0.010.000.01
John Hale0.010.000.01
Kevin Pasley0.000.000.00
Craig Reynolds0.120.14-0.02
Bruce Bochte0.060.08-0.02
Bill Plummer0.000.05-0.05
Leon Roberts0.010.17-0.15
Rick Honeycutt0.230.40-0.17
Bob Robertson0.000.23-0.23
Julio Cruz0.030.28-0.25
Tom Paciorek0.010.38-0.37
Team Totals12-1
   
   
1978 New York Yankees
Rich Gossage0.590.000.59
Jim Beattie0.390.080.31
Chris Chambliss0.290.030.26
Cliff Johnson0.110.020.09
Bucky Dent0.090.050.04
Graig Nettles0.090.060.03
Willie Randolph0.090.060.03
Gary Thomasson0.020.03-0.02
Mickey Rivers0.140.16-0.02
Reggie Jackson0.040.06-0.02
Lou Piniella0.130.15-0.03
Thurman Munson0.030.09-0.06
Sparky Lyle0.010.21-0.21
Team Totals211


September 27, 1975
The second most valuable relief performance of Goose Gossage's career - and the 6th-most valuable performance of his career overall - was on September 27, 1975, for the Chicago White Sox against the Minnesota Twins.

Gossage's White Sox won the game, 1-0, with Gossage picking up the traditional pitcher win (his 9th win in 1975, all in relief) via 5 shutout innings in relief. The score was tied at zero when the first two Twins batters singled to start the bottom of the fifth inning. Gossage escaped that inning by inducing a double play and a fly out. He then proceeded to pitch four innings of shutout ball over which he allowed two hits, two walks, and a hit batter, with two strikeouts.

The White Sox finally managed to scratch out one run in the top of the eighth inning and held on for the 1-0 victory.

The losing pitcher of this game was also a Hall-of-Famer, Bert Blyleven, who pitched a complete game in which he allowed only six hits and three walks, while striking out eight batters. This was one of nine games in his career in which Blyleven pitched a complete game but lost 1-0, the most in the major leagues since the great Walter Johnson. This is exactly the sort of game which contributed to Bert Blyleven having the 10th-most pitcher losses in major-league history (250) and gave him a reputation as a pitcher who had a tendency to pitch "just well enough to lose". This is also, I think, an excellent example of how unfair that reputation was. Bert Blyleven pitched extremely well and it took one of the best performances of a fellow Hall-of-Famer's career to beat him that day.

Player won-lost records for this game are summarized in the table below.

Player Won-Lost Records by Player: Summary

Basic Player Won-Lost Records
(sorted by net pWins)
pWins pLosses Net pWins
 
1975 Chicago White Sox
Rich Gossage0.760.190.57
H. Pat Kelly0.230.080.16
Claude Osteen0.240.100.14
Brian Downing0.130.050.09
Jerry Hairston Sr.0.140.080.06
Mike Squires0.110.050.06
Nyls Nyman0.160.110.05
Bill Stein0.090.090.01
Bucky Dent0.050.07-0.02
Bill Melton0.050.09-0.04
Ken Henderson0.030.11-0.08
Team Totals211
   
   
1975 Minnesota Twins
Johnny Briggs0.070.000.07
Tony Oliva0.070.010.06
Lyman Bostock0.170.120.05
Bert Blyleven0.390.350.04
Luis Gomez0.010.01-0.01
Jerry Terrell0.070.11-0.05
Steve Braun0.020.07-0.05
Steve Brye0.000.05-0.05
Danny Thompson0.050.14-0.08
Dan Ford0.070.17-0.10
Rod Carew0.000.11-0.11
Mike Poepping0.000.13-0.13
Dave McKay0.040.17-0.13
Craig Kusick0.040.21-0.17
Phil Roof0.000.17-0.17
Larry Hisle0.000.18-0.18
Team Totals12-1


October 8, 1981
The best postseason performance of Goose Gossage's career, as measured by net pWins, was Game 2 of the 1981 AL East Divisional Playoffs (the 1981 season was split because of a 50-day midseason strike with the first-half AL East winning Yankees facing the second-half AL East winning Brewers).

Gossage entered the game in the bottom of the 7th inning with the bases loaded and one out and the Yankees clinging to the 1-0 lead. Gossage got Robin Yount on a pop-up to third and then struck out Cecil Cooper to end the inning. Gossage then stuck around to pitch a 1-2-3 8th inning. The Yankees pushed across two runs in the top of the 9th to give Gossage some breathing room heading into the bottom of the 9th, and Gossage worked around two singles to finish the shutout by getting Yount to pop up for the second time, this time to the catcher.

Based purely on net pWins, with no regard to the relative importance of the game, this performance rates 9th in Gossage's career (i.e., in the top 1% of his 1,022 career games).

Player won-lost records for this game are summarized in the table below.

Player Won-Lost Records by Player: Summary

Basic Player Won-Lost Records
(sorted by net pWins)
pWins pLosses Net pWins
 
1981 New York Yankees
Rich Gossage0.520.030.49
Dave Righetti0.600.160.44
Lou Piniella0.200.040.16
Reggie Jackson0.240.150.10
Dave Winfield0.150.060.09
Willie Randolph0.090.060.03
Larry Milbourne0.040.06-0.02
Bob Watson0.020.05-0.03
Jerry Mumphrey0.050.08-0.03
Graig Nettles0.010.05-0.04
Rick Cerone0.010.07-0.06
Ron G. Davis0.070.20-0.13
Team Totals211
   
   
1981 Milwaukee Brewers
Sal Bando0.170.080.08
Roy Howell0.060.000.06
Jim Gantner0.180.150.03
Thad Bosley0.060.040.02
Jim Slaton0.000.00-0.00
Don Money0.000.04-0.04
Ted Simmons0.080.17-0.09
Paul Molitor0.020.11-0.09
Gorman Thomas0.040.16-0.12
Charlie Moore0.000.13-0.13
Cecil Cooper0.050.20-0.14
Ben Oglivie0.030.20-0.17
Mike Caldwell0.270.44-0.17
Robin Yount0.060.27-0.21
Team Totals12-1


Article last updated: February 9, 2020



All articles are written so that they pull data directly from the most recent version of the Player won-lost database. Hence, any numbers cited within these articles should automatically incorporate the most recent update to Player won-lost records. In some cases, however, the accompanying text may have been written based on previous versions of Player won-lost records. I apologize if this results in non-sensical text in any cases.

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