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Posted at 3:30 PM ET, 03/11/2011

Garrett Mock is 'confusing' to the Nationals

By Adam Kilgore

The story of Garrett Mock today remains the same as it's been for the past few years. Nationals officials agree on his potential, his arm strength and his raw stuff. The phrase "best arm in the organization" is frequently bandied about. But after just 4 2/3 laregely troublesome innings, Mock is out of big league camp.

Mock, 27, allowed 11 runs (five earned), nine hits and six walks while recording those 14 outs. The neck surgery that he underwent and recovered from last year was not a factor -"I think he's finally 100 percent," Manager Jim Riggleman said. The Nationals have been trying for a few seasons, but they cannot quite figure out what is preventing Mock's stuff to produce the kind of results it is seemingly capable of.

"He's shown so many flashes," Riggleman said. "I can remember talking to an opposing manager in '09 after he pitched in a ballgame against a very good ball club. The manager was talking to me the next day, 'Our guys are raving about Garrett Mock's stuff. They didn't know anything about him.' He just dominated a very good lineup. And then maybe he takes a step backwards."

Last night, then, was a fitting end to his latest stay with the Nationals. Mock entered in the third inning with two men on base and made a mess of the inning, hits flying all over the field. And then he utterly shut down the Astros for an inning.

"It's very confusing," Riggleman said. "Last night, he gave up some hits, and then he was untouchable. That's kind of been what he can do. I think he's at the optimal age. It's time for Garrett to become a starting pitcher and get stretched out down there. If he comes back and joins us, great.

"It's a little mystifying at times. Last night he threw some pitches that the bottom dropped out of. Never mind hitting them, you could barely catch them. The swings and misses, there were a couple that hitters weren't even close. And then the next thing you know, they squared up a couple and hit them against the wall. It's in there for him to be a successful pitcher in the big leagues. He's just going to have to show us again."

By Adam Kilgore  | March 11, 2011; 3:30 PM ET
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From prior post:

LaRoche has not figured in a lot of the games so far. Is he nursing some nagging injury or something? Did I miss something?

Posted by: jedd_narsavage

Don't know about any injury, but he had pneumonia at the outset of camp. That takes a long time to fully recover from.

As to Mock, I guess a lot of pitching is mental and maybe he just can't get it together?

Posted by: NatsFly | March 11, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Mock doesn't confuse hitters ; that's the problem, Riggleman!

Posted by: swanni | March 11, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Two observations about Mock:

First, he is a different pitcher from the windup than he is from the stretch. Last night, as is typical, he comes in with men on base and they just crush the ball off him. Next couple of innings, he is unhittable until somebody gets on base. Usually with a walk, which leads to the second point.

Second, he has absolutely no control whatsoever. Watch him warm up sometimes and he has trouble coming within a foot of hitting the mitt. He has no idea where his ball is going and sometimes it ends up in the hitter's wheelhouse (see first point above).

Finally, 'good stuff' is a baseball euphamism for 'can't pitch'.

Posted by: Section314 | March 11, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't it Gorzelanny who had walking pneumonia? I believe LaRoche had the boogie-woogie flu.

Posted by: joebleux | March 11, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we they can convert him to a hitter? otherwise he just sux.

Posted by: hansenjo | March 11, 2011 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Gorzelanny had the pneumonia just before he came to camp. LaRoche was nursing a sore shoulder and not playing first for a while, just DH. He's been playing 1st against for a few days.

Posted by: Adam Kilgore | March 11, 2011 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Got the new pitcher and the new 1B ailments mixed up.

Good chuckle, joebleux.

Posted by: NatsFly | March 11, 2011 5:21 PM | Report abuse

"The neck surgery that he underwent and recovered from last year was not a factor"

That's because he had the wrong neck surgery. He needed the neck surgery where they transplant a different, smarter head onto his body.

Posted by: nunof1 | March 11, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone else came across Straussburgs official rehabilitation blog yet?

Check it out - - -

Posted by: sports4eva1 | March 11, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Why is it any more "confusing" that Mock is a bust than any of those "toolsy" outfielders Bowden brought in? This isn't just a physical game. Some guys can't figure that out.

Posted by: baltova1 | March 11, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

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