Langerhans Sent Down, Mock Up

By Steve Yanda
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Nationals sent outfielder Ryan Langerhans to Class AAA Columbus following last night's 14-inning win over Texas. A roster move was needed to make room for right-hander Garrett Mock, who was called up and will start tonight's contest.

Langerhans, who went 0 for 2 as a pinch hitter but did draw a walk to load the bases in the top of the 14th inning, was batting .200 for the Nationals after being called up May 23.

The Nationals already were down a pitcher with Odalis PĂ©rez on the disabled list with shoulder tendinitis and could not afford to lose another after such an extended game.

Mock will make his second major league start when he takes the hill tonight. His first ended after 4 1/3 innings June 8 against San Francisco. He allowed four runs on seven hits during what pitching coach Randy St. Claire called "our first really bad heat day."

With the temperature settling in the upper 90s, Mock turned in a solid performance the first four innings before growing fatigued in the fifth. He allowed all four runs in that inning. When Mock takes the hill tonight, Manager Manny Acta said he hopes for a longer performance -- and a lower thermometer reading.

"I think he's going to be helped by the weather," Acta said. "I mean, that day [Mock's first start] was extremely hot. He hit a wall in, like, the fourth inning, 55-60 pitches. And the nervousness of his first outing, that's all behind him. He can just go out there and relax and stretch himself for us a little bit."

St. Claire said the heat affected Mock in several ways as his outing drew on: His mechanics unraveled, which led to fastballs left up in the strike zone, which led to an attempt to overcompensate with his other pitches.

"He does a good job of hiding the nervousness; he's got that aura," Acta said. "But it was the weather for him that day, and hopefully he can stay out there longer this time."

Today's forecast calls for partly sunny skies and a high of 85.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company