Mock on the mound and Lannan lending a hand

Start Me Up....Again!
Nats starter turned reliever turned starter Garrett Mock is ready to take the hill Sunday afternoon against the Cubs. We’ll see a new-look Mock, literally. The 26-year-old has a newly shaved head. I asked him what happened to his hair and he told me, “It’s hot. I cut it!” He added, it’s all part of his outlook of trying to simplify things.

He said the key for him is to pitch with a quick tempo and let the defense do the work. He added that he just needs to trust his pitches and work fast. He also said he’s enjoyed working alongside pitching coach Steve McCatty.

But, he knows if he’s out of line he’ll hear from his mentor. “He’s on you,” Garrett said. “He really keeps you on your toes.” Garrett was in Syracuse with McCatty when his pitching coach got the call to come to Washington, DC. He said he couldn’t have been happier for him.

Lannan Lends a Hand...
Nats ace John Lannan pitched in this weekend to help the Washington, D.C. Humane Society spread the word about the need for pet adoption. The lefty spent Saturday morning at the Petco store in Alexandria meeting fans and their pets. He told me he really enjoyed getting to meet people in the area. He also said he’s not a big fan of cats so he spent more time with the dogs. And, yes, his own dog, Bailey is doing well.

Pinniella enjoys Presidential Visit...
Cubs skipper Lou Piniella told me this weekend he enjoyed his visit at the White House with President Barack Obama on Thursday. He described it as a once in a lifetime opportunity because he had a chance to bring along his family to meet privately with the President. I asked him if he was able to convince him to ditch the Chicago White Sox jacket for a Cubs jacket and he told me Obama’s advisors, who are loyal Cubs fans, are working on it. Next we need to get him to come over to Nationals Park. Better yet, as I’ve said in the past, let’s bring Michelle Obama over. She’d enjoy the ballpark (there’s a Five Guys concession stand) and the Nationals first ladies for certain!