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McCatty wants Haren to be himself on the hill

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NEW YORK -- After three games, Nationals right-hander Dan Haren has allowed 12 runs in 13 1/3 innings, which is something the team was not expecting after signing him to a one-year, $13 million deal.

Haren said there is nothing wrong with him physically and that he just has to make better pitches during the course of the game.

"I feel good, so it's just a matter of translating good numbers out there," Haren said. "Baseball is a crazy game. As bad as it is going now, it can change in an instant. I just have to remain positive."

Pitching coach Steve McCatty said that it's important that Haren be himself on the mound. McCatty feels that Haren is trying too hard to fit in with the pitching staff. Haren's fastball has been clocked between 89 and 91 mph, but he is trying to throw harder like the rest of his staff mates.

Haren is known to throw the cutter, but he has been throwing mostly fastballs this season. He hasn't used his curveball that much either, according to McCatty.

"The first thing I have to do is let Dan Haren become Dan Haren," McCatty said. "We talked about it before. In Spring Training, I told him, 'You don't have to do anything different -- do what you do.' Everyone talks about the velocity. That doesn't matter to me. He feels better.

"When you go and try to fit in, you know the other four guys are really good. They throw harder, but he is pressing to fit in. He would talk afterward about the way he is pitching -- using more fastballs than cutters. He hasn't used his curveball as much as he has in the past. It's almost like he is trying to show somebody something. Be who you are."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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