Garrett Richards has quickly turned into one of the best young starting pitchers in baseball, sporting a 2.61 ERA and establishing himself as the hardest-throwing starting pitcher in all of baseball.
He's also been, far and away, the Los Angeles Angels' best starting pitcher this year with Jered Weaver on the decline and C.J. Wilson being C.J. Wilson, and the Angels' pretty solid postseason hopes were riding heavily on his right arm.
Now, he's gone, most likely for the season, after suffering a patellar tendon injury in Wednesday's win over the Boston Red Sox while attempting to cover first base on a groundball. Angels manager Mike Scioscia termed the injury "significant" and Richards was flown back to Anaheim to be further examined.
Richards is the second starting pitcher the Angels have lost recently after young, promising Tyler Skaggs' elbow injury that resulted in Tommy John surgery. But Richards' is a much bigger, seemingly fatal blow.
The Angels will almost definitely still make the postseason, but at this point, it's hard to imagine them holding off the A's, struggling as badly as they are, over the final month and a half. Richards would've been an obvious choice to start that one-game AL Wild Card playoff, and now, that seems highly unlikely.