The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim were having a great season after a few disappointing ones. In the past few seasons, the Angels have spent a lot of money on high profile names like Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and C.J. Wilson, but that hasn’t translated into wins on the field.
One of the reasons for the Angels’ turnaround this season was that starter Garrett Richards has emerged as an ace at the top of the rotation and one of the best pitchers in baseball. The bad news for the Angels is that, against the Boston Red Sox, Richards went down with what looked like a major leg injury.
In the bottom of the second inning while going to cover first base, Richards’ leg buckled and he instantly fell to the ground screaming in agony. The really bad news for the Angels and for Richards is that he didn’t even try to get up and a stretcher was needed for him to be taken off the field.
This season has been Richards’ best with a 13-4 record, an ERA of 2.61 and 164 strikeouts. He was a Cy Young candidate, but with the injury in Boston, Richards’ season sadly looks to be over.
If Richards did indeed suffer a major injury is it appeared, it will be a significant blow to the Angels’ chance to make some noise in the playoffs and could cost them a chance to even reach them. Los Angeles still does have Jered Weaver and Wilson in the rotation, and they will need them both to step it up in the final month and a half.
Weaver has been pretty good this season with a 13-7 record and an ERA of 3.70, but Wilson has struggled all season. Wilson is 10-8 with an ERA of 4.59 in 23 starts this season, and if Richards is out for an extended period of time, Wilson will need to be better. Last season, Wilson was great with an ERA of 3.39 and record of 17-7. The 2013 version of will be the one that the Angels need if they are to continue to have the best record in baseball without their ace.
Update: Richards has suffered a left patellar injury. The extent of the injury is currently unknown, but indications are he’s done for the year.