Update (11:07 PM): And it’s over. Dustin Pedroia leads off the seventh with a single, ending Richards’ no-hit bid. Are we a jinx? You be the judge.
Angels starter Garrett Richards is currently working on a gem. The right-hander has made it through six innings without allowing a hit against the Red Sox tonight. The only blemishes on his record are two walks: one to David Ortiz in the fourth inning, and one to Mike Napoli to lead off the fifth.
The Angels took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run double by Albert Pujols. That has been the extent of the offense as Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz has pitched a decent game himself.
Richards, 26, was one of the five American Leaguers put on the Final Vote for July’s All-Star Game in Minnesota, but Chris Sale wound up with the nod. Entering tonight’s start, Richards had compiled a 12-4 record with a 2.58 ERA and a 152/48 K/BB ratio in 153 1/3 innings spanning 23 starts.
We’ll keep you updated here as Richards attempts to seal the deal at home against the Red Sox.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.