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Garrett Richards suffers ugly left knee injury

Aug 20, 2014, 8:43 PM EDT

garrett richards getty Getty Images

The Angels just got dealt a potentially-major blow.

Garrett Richards — who has suddenly developed into a legit staff ace this season at age 26 — was transported off on a stretcher Wednesday evening at Boston’s Fenway Park after suffering what looked to be a very serious left knee injury in the bottom of the second inning of his start against the host Red Sox.

Richards was hustling over to cover the first base bag on a potential double play when his legs buckled underneath him. He laid on the ground for close to eight minutes before Albert Pujols and Angels manager Mike Scioscia lifted him carefully onto a cart. All of the Angels players came onto the field as trainers were tending to Richards, and David Ortiz — who wasn’t involved at all in the fateful play — said some words of encouragement to the right-hander before he was taken off. Updates will be coming.

Richards owns a 2.61 ERA in 26 starts this year. Anaheim’s other starters have a combined ERA of 4.04.

The Angels currently hold a one-game lead over the A’s in the American League West standings.

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UPDATE, 8:56 p.m. ET: According to MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez, the Angels are calling it a “left patellar knee injury,” but don’t have any more information at this time. Richards will obviously have an MRI.

MLB.com has now posted video of the Richards injury. It’s not a pretty scene …

  1. jarathen - Aug 20, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    Absolutely devastating. I’d make a crack about wearing black tomorrow, but the Angels have suffered even worse tragedies in the last few years.

    • sabatimus - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:45 PM

      RIP Nick Adenhart.

      • drewsylvania - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:22 PM

        That looks like the same injury you had.

      • sabatimus - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:30 PM

        I mentioned it below. This looked worse to me, but then again I wasn’t watching myself slip on the sidewalk when it happened either.

  2. realgone2 - Aug 20, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    Boy they get the lead and bam lose one of their best SP. Ugly scene there.

    • jarathen - Aug 21, 2014 at 8:45 AM

      Silver lining is you see where DiPoto made improvements and it paid off. The bullpen picked up the slack and the offense came through.

      ESPN’s Dave Schoenfield did an article about how this hurts the Angels, and of course it does, but the Angels did do a fairly good job shoring up their bullpen, and when the bullpen is that good, you don’t have to have an ace out there every night. A guy that can give you five innings can be enough.

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 21, 2014 at 10:55 AM

        DiPoto has gotten a lot of flack, but like you said, you can clearly see where he has upgraded the team. The moves he gets the most crap for (Pujols, Hamilton) are generally looked at as more of Moreno interfering. He’s built the bullpen, he’s taken the minor league system from awful to slightly mediocre and put a winning team on the field. I think DiPoto is an above average GM.

      • infieldhit - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:09 PM

        Problem is that Richards was the only guy who could be counted on to give the pen a rest now and then. They’ve shown signs of starting to wear down lately, and for the most part the offense hasn’t made it any easier for them.

        Before last night (when Boston helped them out) their last 6 have been 1- or 2-run games, against Phi, Tex, and Bos.

  3. jarathen - Aug 20, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    Alden Gonzales is tweeting that it’s his left knee patella, no extent known yet.

    • realgone2 - Aug 20, 2014 at 8:56 PM

      Looked like it moved to the side in the slo mo. Probably nasty

  4. unclemosesgreen - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    Totally sickening. Hope it was just a minor dislocation with no ligament involvement.

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:00 PM

      Not likely. He seemed to cry out in a lot of pain. The close ups of his face were chilling.

  5. SocraticGadfly - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    Crap. Hope he’s back healthy next spring. I’m expecting he’s done for the year this year, sadly.

  6. infieldhit - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:30 PM

    Is it better that it’s not his right knee, which would be what he pushes off of? Or would repeatedly planting that side put its share of stress on it too?

    • sabatimus - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:49 PM

      I’m not sure how much it matters which knee. He has to use both when pitching, and if the knee isn’t healed he’ll be favoring his other side anyway, which itself often leads to injury.

      Saw this on NESN tonight. I thought for sure it was ligament damage, though patellar dislocation is something I’ve had to deal with and rehabbing it hurts like an SOB. Also, class move by Ortiz to pat Richards on the chest before he was carted off.

    • carpi2 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:03 PM

      If I had to guess, he may have ruptured his patellar ligament. Regardless of the knee involved, an injury of this sort would be a slow process to return to full strength.

  7. kingkershaw - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    That sucks, first Skaggs and now Richards. Too bad. I was looking to a freeway series.

  8. sabatimus - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    Saw the video again. He rolls over after the injury and immediately grimaces in pain and goes to his kneecap. I’m betting it was a patellar dislocation. Now they’ll have to do that MRI to determine if he tore ligaments–mine got stretched when I fell, and the knee swelled up and I couldn’t put much weight on it at all for days.

    Hang in there, kid.

  9. chargrz - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:54 PM

    Angels are totally snake bitten franchise.

    • infieldhit - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:39 PM

      Feels like it, but the A’s and Rangers have had their share of bad luck and bad breaks in recent years.

    • jarathen - Aug 21, 2014 at 8:46 AM

      Before 2002, I’d have agreed with you. 1986, 1995, that screams curse.

      But in 2002 they won it all.

  10. mungman69 - Aug 21, 2014 at 4:29 AM

    Can’t catch a break.

  11. mungman69 - Aug 21, 2014 at 4:30 AM

    Can Trout pitch?

  12. hittfamily - Aug 21, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    This is the reason I found it odd that Yu Darvish passed through waivers. I suspect team’s didn’t claim him, knowing the Rangers wouldn’t trade him. 3 weeks ago, it looked like KC was out of it, and that the Angels had all the pitching they needed. Now, both look like huge SP buyers. The Rangers would still have to be blown away, but either could still sell the farm to make it happen. I bet the Mariners, Tigers, or A’s wish they would have filed the necessary paperwork to ensure that it couldn’t happen, however unlikely a trade might be.

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 21, 2014 at 10:52 AM

      The Halos don’t have much of a farm.

      • hittfamily - Aug 21, 2014 at 11:05 AM

        Garret Richards for Yu Darvish wouldn’t be a terrible start. Darvish makes 30 mil over the next 3 years, and Richards has 3 years of control left. The Angels would likely have to include more, but it is definately a starting point.

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 21, 2014 at 11:06 AM

        Richards is hurt

  13. badsequel - Aug 21, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    Starting pitching, relief pitching, offense. The Angels have played the entire season with one of those on the fritz for weeks at a time. Relievers are fine and the offense is coming back, they can be OK.

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