BOSTON - If the Angels are to make a deep playoff run, they may have to do it without their ace.
Garrett Richards seriously injured his left knee in the 2nd inning against the Red Sox Wednesday night. At this time we don't know the extent of the injury.
Running to cover first base on a grounder to second base, Richards slowed up when the ball was instead thrown to third base. As he did so, his left cleat appeared to catch the dirt well before he got to first base, causing him to put extra pressure on the right leg as it turned awkwardly.
Richards crumpled to the ground in pain where he laid for several minutes as Angels personnel and doctors tended to him. Replays showed Richards grabbing his left knee after hitting the ground.
David Ross had just been forced out at second base and had to walk past the area in which Richards went down.
"Oh that stunk," Ross said of the injury. "I was actually walking off and listening to him scream in pain. I actually got pretty sick to my stomach because you could tell. That's a grown man out there screaming . . . and that's not a good feeling."
A cart with a stretcher was brought onto the field before he was eventually hoisted onto the stretcher and wheeled off the field. He was taken to Mass General Hospital in Boston.
Richards acknowledged the cheering crowd as he was wheeled off.
Richards was having a breakout season for the Angels, coming into Wednesday's game with a record of 13-4, a 2.61 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. He had 164 strikeouts in 167 innings pitched.