Nationals Garrett Mock is preparing for tonight's matchup against the N.Y. Mets from Citi Field. Before he left for the road trip, I had a chance to talk with Garrett on his spring training, feelings about making the team and what he will try to do to take down the Mets tonight.
To listen to the audio interview, in its entirety, click here.
So, are you all set for your season debut tonight?
"I feel like as far as making the steps to get ready 'yes'. As far maintaining the consistent mind set of attacking guys 'yes'.
The bottom line is now that the lights have kicked on it comes down to performance. I had some good outings in spring training. My last couple of outings really were not all that great. But I made it to the number of pitches I wanted to throw.
I made a couple of mistakes. I worked on a couple of things. This is not the time to do that. Especially now its time to just go out and attack guys. So, I am definitely ready to get started."
So you just going to let it all hang out and trust what Pudge is asking you to throw?
"Yes, that is exactly right. I have nothing to add to that (laughter).
Nothing changes. I need to trust what I am doing, trust the defense behind me. Go out and let the defense come in and play offense. We got guys that are itching to do some damage. Just a matter of going out and attacking guys and limiting the damage. Let them come in and swing the bats."
Are you a different pitcher than you were in April, 2009?
"Absolutely. I am really excited about the opportunity of starting the season in the big leagues as a starter. And I am looking forward to maintaining a consistent mindset to to go out and perform until the lights shut off."
As a native of Houston, Texas, any restaurants or foods you are looking for in D.C. that you love/crave from back home?
"Well, I would like to see a Shipley Do-nuts and a Whataburger. I know there is some good barbeque hiding out somewhere and I need to find that soon.
D.C. is a wonderful city. I have been here in parts since 2008 and I still haven't even scratched the surface all the gems that are hidden in the city.
Just driving through D.C. last week for a luncheon it was amazing to see all the people that are just drawn to this city. All the history. It is just a wonderful city and I am really glad to be playing here."
Stephen Strasburg set to make his Double A debut this weekend. I will be heading up to Altoona for Sunday's game between the Senators and Curve. We will have blanket coverage on masnsports.com and "Nats Xtra" so stay tuned for all the latest. First pitch is 2 p.m. Sunday.
I also will have a blog this weekend with Tim Chambers, Bryce Harper's coach at College of Southern Nevada. Harper is blowing it up at CSN batting over .400 with 12 homers and 37 RBI in his first 35 games. The Coyotes are 30-6 and the post season begins May 12th.