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.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Diamondbacks and reliever T.J. McFarland have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. McFarland, in his third of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $1.675 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $1.275 million. McFarland ended up settling for just under the midpoint of those two figures.
McFarland, 29, was terrific out of the bullpen for the D-Backs last season, finishing with a 2.00 ERA and a 42/22 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. While the lefty may not miss a lot of bats, he does induce quite a few grounders. His 67.9 percent ground ball rate last season was the third highest among relievers with at least 50 innings, trailing only Brad Ziegler (71.1%) and Scott Alexander (70.6%).
McFarland was dominant against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .388 OPS last season, but the D-Backs deployed him nearly twice as often against right-handed hitters, who posted an aggregate .764 OPS against him. It will be interesting to see if the club decides to use him more as a platoon reliever in 2019.