Jason Marquis was an all-star last season with the Colorado Rockies.  He won 15 games with a 4.04 ERA.  He was the Nationals' premier free agent signee, brought in to stabilize a rotation that was supposed to be full of youngsters on a two-year, $15 million contract.

In his first appearance in a Washington Nationals uniform, however, he was the one in need of stabilization.  For a second day in a row a veteran starter was hit hard by the Philadelphia Phillies as the Nats lost 8-4 before a more moderate crowd of 27,240 at Nats Park.

Marquis surrendered six earned runs on eight hits and three walks in just four innings of work.

His performance this evening continued a string of poor outings that dogged him during spring training, where he had a 9.10 ERA with 10 walks in five starts.

Right off the bat, Marquis was shaky.  He walked Jimmy Rollins, the Phils' leadoff hitter, and then hit Placido Polanco.  A single by Chase Utley loaded the bases for Ryan Howard. 

Marquis coaxed a double-play ground ball from the big slugger that scored a run and Marquis looked like he might get out of the inning in decent shape.  But Marquis could not profit from prosperity and walked Jason Werth, before uncorking a wild pitch to Raul Ibanez, which scored Polanco from third.

So in his first Nats' start he put two runs up on the board via walks and a wild pitch before his team even came to bat.

Later, he'd give up a home run to Ryan Howard that went well into the second deck to deep right center.  At that point, manager Jim Riggleman came out and put Marquis out of his misery.

Washington got to Phils' starter Cole Hamels a little bit in the third, as Ian Desmond homered to straight-away center and Josh Willingham plated Ryan Zimmerman from second base.

Both hitters had good nights, as Desmond finished 2-for-5 with the homer and an RBI double, and Willingham went 3-for-4 with a walk.

But Hamels (W, 1-0, 3.60) would settle down and stick around long enough for the decision.  He was not sharp, but managed to get the outs he needed.  He gave up five hits and four walks in five innings, but also got five strikeouts. 

He also had a run-scoring single to help his own cuase.

So the Nats will turn to Craig Stammen Thursday to be the stopper, in a businessman's special finale of the three-game series against Kyle Kendrick.

He'll only need to stop the defending N.L. champs, who have bludgeoned his teammates pitching to the tune of 19 runs in two games.

NATS NOTES:  Tyler Walker, much maligned during spring training, pitched two perfect innings, striking out three in the process.

Matt Capps, however, did not fare as well.  Brought into a three-run game in the ninth, he allowed a run on a hit, an error (Desmond's second in as many games) and two walks.

Mike Morse, who started in right field, strained a calf muscle after catching a sacrifice fly and trying to make the throw to home.  Riggleman said Morse might miss a couple days.

The ratio of Nats-to-Phillies fans were much more proportionate compared to Opening Day.

Three members of the Eastern Conference Champion Washington Capitals were in attendance, goalie Jose Theodore and centers Nicklas Backstrom and Eric Belanger.  Theodore was there for a pre-game presentation on behalf of his charity "Saves for Kids".