Halos' Richards proving to be the real deal

Garrett Richards of the Los Angeles Angels, the 25-year-old who has transitioned from the bullpen to the rotation, has quickly developed a reputation for having some of the most dominant stuff in the sport.

Richards shut down the Phillies on Wednesday, just his latest piece of pitching art. Think about some of the numbers he has generated:

1. We hear all the time about how a pitcher's average fastball velocity has diminished. Richard's velocity has gone up by, incredibly, a full mile per hour (from 94.8 to 96 mph). Only two pitchers have posted a higher velocity average with their fastballs than Richards.

2. He has pitched 52 innings so far this season and allowed just one home run. One. That's tied with Mark Buehrle for the lowest HR/9 rate in the big leagues (among qualified pitchers).

3. Only one pitcher, Ervin Santana, has generated a lower percentage of contact on pitches thrown outside the strike zone than Richards. In other words, hitters are flailing.

4. Only Johnny Cueto (.463) has a lower opponents' OPS than Richards' .513 mark.