Let’s face facts, After starting the season looking like a solid number three starting pitcher here in Boston the wheels came off Garett Richards when his “ foreign substances “ rights were stripped away in June. After that point Richards was a complete mess. His solid 3.75 ERA rocketed to 6.97. His strikeout rate in June and July fell to 14.3 percent from a high of 20.2 percent throughout his first eleven starts. The Sox knew it was time to move the man to the pen to try to salvage his psyche and hopefully their season. And it might have worked.
FINAL: #RedSox 8, Orioles 6
Garrett Richards with a quick and drama-free 1-2-3 ninth inning. Boston completes the sweep and if the other results hold will maintain a 1 game lead for first in the AL Wild Card.
— Mac Cerullo (@MacCerullo) September 19, 2021
Brains over Brawn
Since moving to the pen, Richards has dominated. In just over 20 innings of relief, he has a 0.87 ERA with a strikeout rate of 29.4 percent, a 9.4 percent walk rate and a 48.1 percent ground-ball rate. Richards’ fastball averaged 94.2 mph out of the rotation, compared to 95.0 mph out of the ’pen . Brilliant !
"Look at the temperature on that little fastball. My goodness. Feel like King Kong out there coming in first save. I'll tell ya, adds an extra little oomph." -Eck on Garrett Richards' 98 mph fastball to Anthony Santander
— The Ecktionary (@ecktionary) September 19, 2021
An 8.5 Million dollar decision
The Sox can buy out Richards for 1.5 million dollars at the end of the 2021 season or pick up his 10 million dollar option. With the 2021 -22 class of relief pitchers looking like a refugee camp of arms on the wrong side of thirty, would it be smart to pick up his option and start this cycle all over again? Maybe. Just Maybe. The In Chaim we trust group will take this as a Win, and I just might give it to them.
As always you can follow / give me grief on Twitter @Tmurph207
(AP Photo/John Bazemore)