It was a bad day to be a fan of the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday. The Angels who currently are in first place in the American League West and post the best record in baseball have lost the ace of their pitching staff, newcomer, Garrett Richards. . MRI results today confirmed that Richards has a torn patellar tendon and will be out for the next six to nine months. Richards was off to a stellar season with a 13-4 record, 2.53 ERA and 164 strikeouts

Richards was hurt on Wednesday against the Boston Red Sox. With one out in the bottom of the second and runners at the corners, Brock Holt hit a ground ball to Angels’ first baseman Albert Pujols. Pujols fielded the ball and threw to shortstop Erick Aybar who was covering second. Richards came rushing off the mound in order to cover first and be there for the potential inning ending double play. However his knee buckled and he collapsed onto the ground in pain just before reaching the bag.

Garrett Richards Angels teammates gather around starting pitcher Garrett Richards (on the ground) after Richards was injured against the Boston Red Sox during the second inning at Fenway Park. Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Jared Weaver and other members of the Angels bench said they could hear Garrett Richards scream just before he collapsed to the ground. Richards stayed on the ground for over 8 minutes writing in pain as Albert Pujols held his hand. Members of the Angels pitching staff and Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, all came over to show their support and concern for Richards.

“It doesn’t look too good for him,” Weaver told reporters after the game. “He’s been our guy all year. He’s been that guy you count on to get deep in games and pull out a victory. To have something like that happen is obviously a crushing blow to any team. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, and hopefully it doesn’t turn out as bad as everyone thinks it is.”

Only it was as bad as everyone thought it was. In fact, it is the worst news the Angels could possibly get with just over a month left in the season. The Cy Young candidate will have surgery next week and will not be able to walk or start rehab for almost three months. More than likely, it will be midway into next season before Richards takes the mound again.

“I hated to see that,” David Ortiz said. “I went over and said to him, ‘Hang in there.’ That guy was having a great season, too. Terrible to see.”

The news on Richards is a devastating blow to the Angels World Series hopes this season. The Angels currently have best record in all of baseball at the moment. Despite their phenomenal season, they are clinging to a 1½ game lead in the AL West and have already lost another member of the starting rotation in Tyler Skaggs who had Tommy John Surgery last week. The Angels will now only have three starting pitchers who were in their original rotation and will need to piece meal together the last two rotation spots with either Wade LeBlanc, Randy Wolf or Chris Volstad, all of whom are currently in Triple-A.

It’s possible that the Angels might be able to pull off a miracle by getting a guy like Bartolo Colon or Jorge De La Rosa in an August waiver wire move, but with other playoff teams needing starting pitching, and the possibility that the rival Oakland Athletics could thwart the Angels by putting in an unnecessary claim themselves, the chances are slim.

In an emotional moment in the clubhouse during the game, AL MVP front runner Mike Trout, Richards roommate, went into the clubhouse to check on his best friend. “I was sick to my stomach. When the doctor came in and told him he might have done something to his patella tendon and surgery might be involved, he kind of lost it,” Trout also said that Richard immediately broke into tears.