The Associated Press
The Meridian Star
ATLANTA — Dan Haren had been waiting to prove he belonged in Washington's vaunted starting rotation.
After winning his last two starts, Haren is feeling a little better, and that's mostly because he's not overthrowing his fastball.
"I'm not going to care about velocity anymore," he said with a smile. "I'm sick of that. It just gives me problems. I'm just going to be myself out there. Whether it's 88 or 85 (mph), I don't really care. I know I can get people out."
Haren pitched eight sharp innings, Denard Span hit a two-run double and the Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 3-1 Thursday night.
The Nationals, who snapped a nine-game losing streak to Atlanta on Wednesday, allowed their NL East rivals to get only three runners in scoring position over two nights.
Haren (3-3) gave up four hits and one run with one walk and four strikeouts.
"He's a consummate pitcher," Washington manager Davey Johnson said. "He doesn't give in to a hitter. He's got all kinds of movement on the ball, and this is a very aggressive swinging ballclub. They were swinging early in the count, which worked right in his favor."