MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Aggressive Nats pick up slack for Harper vs. Koehler

Outfielder, who entered with four HRs off righty, goes hitless, but Zim, Robinson, Desmond homer

Aggressive Nats pick up slack for Harper vs. Koehler

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals hit three home runs off Tom Koehler on Saturday night, but Bryce Harper went hitless in three at-bats against the Marlins' right-hander. There was a feeling that Harper might do some damage against Koehler, considering the outfielder hit four homers off him in eight at-bats this season, including three in one game on May 6.

Ryan Zimmerman, Clint Robinson and Ian Desmond were the ones to homer off Koehler in Saturday's 5-1 win at Nationals Park. They didn't waste time hitting the home runs, either.

Harper vents his frustration

Zimmerman hit his solo home run in the second inning on the second pitch he saw. Robinson, who slammed a two-run bomb to left-center field four innings later, and Desmond, who immediately followed, both hit their home runs on the first pitch of the at-bat.

Zimmerman's solo blast

"Koehler was around the strike zone tonight," Robinson said. "You have to go out and be aggressive. He had three pitches working for him the first few innings. You have to go out there and be aggressive. You can't let him dictate the at-bat. You have to put a little pressure on him to try to get him out of there."

Desmond hit a monster home run over the center-field fence on a first-pitch curveball.

"Desmond was probably looking for a pitch up and saw the spin," Koehler said. "He handles breaking balls in the zone really well. As you can see, he crushed that one."

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