Now Commenting On:

Maturing Richards turning the page quickly

Maturing Richards turning the page quickly play video for Maturing Richards turning the page quickly

CHICAGO -- Garrett Richards bounced back brilliantly in Game 1 of Tuesday's doubleheader, giving up a first-inning three-run homer to Jose Abreu and then retiring 23 of the next 25 batters as he continued to make a strong case for the All-Star Game.

Last year, he admits, an outing like that probably goes a lot differently.

"The pitcher I am this year is far beyond the pitcher I was last year or the year before that," Richards said. "Even last year, the year before that, that game could've snowballed and I would've been out in the fourth inning. That just goes back to me just moving on and going back to controlling what I can control and making quality pitches."

Richards lost out to Mariners ace Felix Hernandez for the American League's Pitcher of the Month Award on Wednesday, but that's probably because his latest start -- eight innings, three runs, two hits, two walks, nine strikeouts -- was pushed back to the first of July because of Monday's rainout.

That doesn't change the fact that he's eighth in the AL in ERA (2.81), fifth in WHIP (1.07), tied for fifth in wins (nine) and eighth in strikeouts (108). Since giving up five runs in two-thirds of an inning against the A's on May 30, the 26-year-old has a 1.49 ERA in six starts.

Somewhere along the way, he's mastered the art of turning the page.

"That's the maturing process that I've gone through as a pitcher," Richards said, "and I'm happy with the direction I'm moving."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español