(John Lannan's socks have gone missing. Photo of TV by Nationals Enquirer staff.)
Why is John Lannan seemingly "back on track" since returning from exile in Harrisburg? Willie Harris explained after Lannan earned his fifth win of the season Thursday afternoon in Atlanta (5.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 5 K. 105 pitches. 8 groundouts, 1 flyout):
"He came back. He is a different person. He let his hair grow out, wears his leg pants down, and he is pitching well. Hopefully, it continues."
(Willie Harris, via Nationals.com, 8/19/2010)
Shaggier hair, pants worn long covering up his socks. Easy. But Lannan says it's more than that:
"That's the main thing for me, is going out there and being confident in my stuff. I'm more assured of my stuff since I've come back."
(John Lannan, via Nationals Journal, 8/19/2010)
The new-look pants/socks are actually quite striking -- not sure why we didn't notice it until Willie mentioned it. Here's Lannan's old short-pants, long-socks style from June 15, during his second-to-last start before being demoted: