A Change in Mechanics Has Done Wonders for Garrett Richardsby Jamie Gatlin May 5, 2021 0 comments
Less than two weeks ago, Garrett Richards was trending in the wrong direction. Through his first four starts with the Red Sox, he had posted a 6.48 ERA. Over the last two weeks, however, Richards has been a different pitcher. Due to a new delivery, Richards has flashed the potential that once made him a top prospect. While his ERA is still above 4, he has been one of the Red Sox best starters of late.
In Richards’s last two starts, he has struck out 17 batters. The California native has been able to limit walks and only allowed one home run. Although Richards has allowed eight hits in that span, he has pitched out of trouble. In his last two starts, Richards has only allowed two earned runs during his best stretch of the season.
Garrett Richards, Bowel-Locking 78mph Curveball. 💩 pic.twitter.com/xnp390m3eK
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 28, 2021
Against the Mets and Rangers, Richards tightened up his delivery and was more upright. As a result, his control improved after he walked 13 batters in his first four starts. While he only went five innings against the Rangers, he gave the Red Sox a chance to win. Due to his change in mechanics, Richards has had a simpler delivery and been a bright spot over the last two weeks.
As the Red Sox look to build on their hot start, Richards’s recent performance has been a welcoming sign. He has shown that he can be a solid and, at times, dominant starter. The Red Sox don’t need Richards to strike out 10 batters every start. Over his last two starts, he has avoided putting the Red Sox in an early hole and put them in a position to be successful. That has also taken the pressure off the offense, which has been a strength this season.
Due to Richards’s last two starts, he has lowered his ERA from 6.48 to 4.40. In 28.2 innings of work, he now has more strikeouts than walks this season. While he still has room to improve, it has been a dramatic change after he struggled to throw strikes for most of April.
Although the season is far from over, Richards’s play will be a storyline to watch. If he reverts to his old tendencies, the Red Sox have Tanner Houck waiting in the minors. However, the last two starts have been a building block for Richards in what the Red Sox are hoping becomes a common trend.