Matt Keough, former major league pitcher for the Oakland A’s, passed away on Friday, per reports. He was 64.
Keough, a righthanded starter, was originally a 7th round pick of the Oakland A’s as a hitter out of high school in Newport Beach, California, in 1973, before converting to pitching in the minors. Keough was an All Star in 1978, but regressed in 1979, going 2-17 with a 5.04 ERA for an A’s squad that lost 108 games that year.
Billy Martin was hired by Oakland after the 1979 season, and he engineered a huge turnaround in 1980 for the A’s. The team’s success was due largely to their rotation of Keough, Mike Norris, Rick Langford, Steve McCatty and Brian Kingman, known as the “Five Aces.” Oakland led the league with 94 complete games that year — more than the second and third place teams in the A.L. in complete games combined for that year — and finished second in the American League West. Keough put up a 3.3 bWAR season in 1980 while finishing the year 3rd in complete games and 4th in ERA.
Unfortunately, the A’s starters never recovered from their heavy 1980 workloads, and saw their careers derailed by injuries after that. After a decent season in the strike-shortened 1981 season, Keough put up a 5.72 ERA while leading the league in losses in 1982, and then a 5.33 ERA in 1983 between Oakland and the New York Yankees.
Keough spent time with a few teams after that before playing in Japan for Hanshin from 1987-90. His ex-wife, Jeana, was an original cast member on The Real Housewives of Orange County, and Matt appeared on the show numerous times.