Originally posted on Monkey with a Halo  |  Last updated 6/17/12

All of a sudden the Angels have way too much great pitching.  On the heels of Ervin Santana's one-hitter, Garrett Richards spun a little magic of his own by shutting out the D'Backs for eight innings before giving way to Ernesto Frieri.

For the Angels, the timing is great.  Instead of having to make the awkward decision of figuring out whether or not Richards needs to replace Santana in the rotation, they can now safely keep Ervin where he is but know that Richards, after three strong starts, is waiting in the wings should Santana falter again.  Being pitching rich in the rotation is never the kind of problem one complains about.

For Richards, this was just a brilliant display of what he was capable of.  He more than atoned for his wildness last time out by throwing first pitch strikes to almost every hitter.  From there, he let his stuff do the rest.  His slider was sharp, giving him a killer swing-and-miss pitch, and his fastball was strong from start to finish as Garrett was still lighting up the radar gun at 96 mph repeatedly in the eighth inning.  That's all he needed.  Heck, he never even dusted off his changeup or curve in the game because his four-seamer, two-seamer and slider were all working so well.

And he dominated like this despite struggling with his command at times, and I mean that as a compliment.  He walked four and hit a batter in the game, but there were also several pitches where his fastball missed Conger's target by feet, not inches.  Yet, he still limited Arizona to no runs on four hits.  That is true testament to how dominating his stuff can be when it is working (and perhaps a smaller testament to how futile the Arizona lineup has been at times this year).

Even with as good as Garrett was though, this will be the last we see of him for awhile with Weaver set to return from the DL this next series.  But unlike last season, we'll all be eager for Richards to return.

Angels 2, Diamondbacks 0

Game Notes

  • Remember that heat map I linked to the other day that showed how Mike Trout had been murdering inside pitches?  Yeah, the league must've see in too.  As has been the case most of the last week, Ian Kennedy worked Trout almost exclusively away.  The one pitch he missed inside on, Mike drilled off the left field wall.  Still, he'll have to keep working to adjust to being pitched away now, though I doubt it will be too much of a problem.
  • Erick Aybar had one of the wimpiest 3-for-3's you'll see.  A bunt single, a nice line drive single then a "double" down the line because Justin Upton lost the ball in the sun.  But hey, with Aybar this season, we should just take what we should get, right?
  • I don't know if I just never noticed before, but Hank Conger is very animated behind the plate.  He loves tapping glove in the dirt when he wants it low, standing up from his squat when he wants it high, lots of gesturing in general.  There was even once where he set up outside but stuck his leg out and tapped his heel inside to mimic tapping his glove and perhaps fool the hitter.  I don't know if I like all that, but at least he is trying back there.
  • Speaking of which, I hope you enjoyed the Hank Conger era, because it just ended.  He wasn't up for long and wasn't given much of a chance, nor did he do much with what he was given, but in any event, Conger was optioned to the minors after the game, presumably because Bobby Wilson will be activated.  They easily could've optioned John Hester, but chose not to do so, which speaks volumes of what the front office thinks about Conger's future.  Maybe I am reading too much into it, but I would not be the least bit surprised if Hank gets heavily shopped at the trade deadline

Halo Hero

Great work, kid!  Now, go back to your hotel, pack your bags and catch the next flight to Salt Lake.  Maybe you and Conger can carpool to the airport.

[follow]

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Report: Giants will be ‘aggressive’ in trying to sign Jason Pierre-Paul

Report: Porzingis avoided ligament damage in ankle

Brooks Koepka meltdown includes whiff, stomping head off driver

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker