Boston Red Six pitcher Garrett Richards certainly had a first inning to forget against the Atlanta Braves on Monday. However, it definitely could've been a lot worse if not for a new Major League Baseball spring training rule that Boston took advantage of. The rule allows teams to prematurely end an inning if a pitcher has thrown more than 20 pitches.
Richards had already surrendered two runs to the Braves and the bases were loaded. So, the Red Sox exercised their right to end the inning and Richards caught a lucky break. Since Richards had only thrown 23 pitches, the Red Sox elected to bring the veteran out for the second inning and he ended up retiring the Braves in order.
"Obviously, you want to finish it and you want to make all the outs that your outing requires," Richards said, according to the Associated Press. "So, yeah, it was a little frustrating."
Richards lasted two innings and had just one strikeout while also walking in a run during his tumultuous first inning. The Braves ended up defeating the Red Sox, 5-3.
"By all means, not happy about it," Richards added. "Today's outing is not what you're going to see from me on a regular basis, I'll tell you that right now. I just needed to stay a little bit more in competitive mode versus mechanical mode. So once that switch kind of flipped, everything kind of felt great again."
Richards signed a one-year, $10 million contract with the Red Sox in February. The right-hander put together a 2-2 record to go along with a 4.03 ERA during the pandemic-shortened season in 2020.