In a span of two starts, Richards went from getting knocked out of the game in the first inning to posting his first outing of 2015 without allowing an earned run. A week-and-a-half after the Yankees touched him up for six runs in two-thirds of an inning, Richards went seven to beat the D-backs at home, allowing an unearned run on four hits in the Angels' 4-1 win.
It was tougher than it looked for the right-hander, though. He walked three, threw a few pitches that got by catcher Carlos Perez and got several early visits from pitching coach Dave Butcher.
"Butch has been there since the beginning," Richards said. "He knows how to calm me down. He knows what my thought process is, for whatever reason, whatever situation I'm in. He just does a good job of controlling me. He knows me better than anybody else, and that's helpful."
Richards also had to pitch out of trouble multiple times -- including the first inning. Richards loaded the bases with one out in the first, but this time, he shut things down. He struck out Yasmany Tomas for the second out and got Jake Lamb to ground out to short. This time around, there was no damage at all.
But that wasn't because Richards corrected some issue since facing the Yankees.
"I mean, that was two starts ago," Richards said. "Some days you're gonna have it and some days you don't. Some guys are gonna clip you, sometimes you're gonna get lucky. But that doesn't take away from or change the way I pitch. I'm trying to throw the ball down in the zone and get ahead of guys."
David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.