Richards gave up three runs, one of them on a wild pitch, and scattered four hits, two of them for extra bases, in 2 2/3 innings. But he felt far better. He talked about how much easier it is to repeat his delivery now, how nice it is to not have to worry about whether his surgically repaired landing leg would "collapse or go left or go right."
Then the subject came up again.
"You just take whatever the day gives you, I suppose," Richards said of throwing 100 mph. "Felt really good today. I can't tell you guys enough -- I feel really good right now."
Richards was the hardest-throwing starting pitcher in the Major Leagues last season, with a 95.7-mph average fastball that was just a shade higher than Yordano Ventura (95.6 mph) and Gerrit Cole (95.5 mph). But Richards has never reached triple digits in a Major League game. His highest was 99 mph, done several times throughout a dominant 2014 season and once in 2015.
Richards said the last time he threw 100 mph "had to have been in college."
The most recent time came on a second-pitch four-seam fastball to Socrates Brito, who ripped it to right field for a base hit. Maybe the gun was off just a tick on that pitch; maybe, as Angels manager Mike Scioscia surmised, it was just a glitch.
But that's not the point. It's that Richards is already starting to feel the benefits of not spending an entire offseason rehabbing from surgery to his left knee.
"I'm starting to see the rewards from it," Richards said. "I'm happy with what I did this offseason, and I'm happy with where I'm at right now."
• Angels closer Huston Street, bothered by tightness in his left calf, pitched in a simulated game on the backfields of the team's Spring Training complex on Tuesday morning. He could appear in his first Cactus League game by Thursday. Street said the ailment is "very minor."
• Tyler Skaggs (Tommy John surgery) and C.J. Wilson (shoulder tendinitis) are progressing, but slowly. Wilson is long-tossing and will throw off a mound "shortly," Scioscia said. Skaggs could throw to hitters during live batting practice by the end of the week.