Hunter Renfroe Tries To Make Sense Of Garrett Richards’ Struggles

Richards hasn't won a game since May 19

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Garrett Richards’ first go-around with the Boston Red Sox has been a grind thus far.

Richards, who currently owns a 4-5 record with a 4.96 ERA on the season, hasn’t completed six innings since May 19, the date he also earned his last win. The first frame has been particularly troubling for the veteran right-hander, who owns a 9.56 ERA in the first through 16 starts. To put this in perspective, his inning-by-inning ERA dips to 3.21 in both the third and fourth and 1.42 in the fifth.

So, what gives? Hunter Renfroe tried to provide an explanation for Richards’ lingering struggles after the Red Sox’s 6-5 win over the Royals on Monday at Fenway Park.

“I think it’s all in Garrett’s head more than anything,” Renfroe told reporters, per MassLive. “I think he doesn’t believe in himself. I think that’s kind of his biggest thing. If he just goes out there and pitches the way he is able to pitch, I think he does fine. I think that’s it more than anything. He’s a great pitcher and if he believes in himself, I think that’s half the battle. He’s still throwing 96 mph, he invented a changeup that’s a really, really good pitch for him and worked really well tonight. His curveball and slider are still there. He’s got to go out there, believe in himself and keep throwing the ball.”

Richards finds himself in a challenging spot. The 11th-year pro is tasked with regaining confidence while effectively reinventing himself on the mound, something he acknowledged following the series opener against Kansas City.

It remains to be seen if Richards will be able to check either of those boxes. But at a minimum, the 33-year-old has proved he’ll complete his tail off until the call to the bullpen is made.

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