YANKEES 8, WHITE SOX 2
Friday, July 21, 1978 at Comiskey Park
Game 1253 – 9/30/12
It was a case of the best meeting the worst, with the first-place Yankees and 14-game winner Ron Guidry squaring off against White Sox—possessors of the worst record in baseball—and Wilbur Wood, whose pre-game won-lost mark stood at 4-12. And as expected, the Yanks once again prevailed, this time by an 8-2 count in front of a rowdy but disappointed crowd at Chicago’s Comiskey Park.
Although he allowed ten hits in the game—all singles save for Ralph Garr’s shutout-breaking triple in the eighth—and had run out of steam by the ninth, Guidry still overpowered the Sox, striking out ten and walking none while earning his 15th win and working his first complete game since June 27th. The win tied Guidry for the lead (in both leagues) with Rangers hurler Jon Matlack, who’d garnered his 15th victory earlier in the day.
Yankees third baseman Graig Nettles supplied Guidry with all the runs he’d need for the night when he connected for a lead-off solo home run in second inning, then struck again with a two-run shot in the third for a 3-0 New York advantage, a lead they would never relinquish; the home runs were Nettles’ 13th and 14th of the year. A 2-run HR from light-hitting Bucky Dent and an RBI single from Willie Randolph accounted for three more runs in the sixth, while the ninth saw Nettles and Reggie Jackson deliver a run apiece with a sacrifice fly and a base hit, respectively, to round out the Yankees offense.
For the White Sox, it was a tough night all around; they saw their record drop to 29-64, pushing them to 26½ games back of the front-running Rangers in the AL West, and witnessed yet another dispiriting performance from Wood, who like Guidry had yet to win a game in July, and was now staring at a 0-4 record for the month after serving up all three New York home runs and departing in the sixth down 6-0. If a bright spot was to be found, it was the fact that the White Sox collected ten hits off of baseball’s best pitcher, and had rallied late in the game for two runs to avoid the shutout.
“It’s not much,” said a weary Larry Doby after the game, “but it’s better than a kick in the head.”
• The game was played at night at site AZ8 in Peoria, Arizona, on the living room table while I listened to Mad Love by Linda Ronstadt.
• Guidry had opened July with a shocking 0-2 record after three starts, with no complete games (before tonight, that was the worst won-lost for the month of the entire Yankees pitching staff); this came after he’d started the 1978 campaign with a spectacular 14-1 record and 0.99 ERA, finishing all fifteen games he’d started through June 30th.
• The Yankees have won all eight of their meetings thus far this season against the White Sox, with two more games remaining to be played.
• For Nettles, it was his first 2-HR game since he’d accomplished the feat twice in 1977; he’s also the first Yankee to connect for two in a game this year.