It was one of those nights at Citizen's Bank Park.

Neither starting pitcher made it out of the second inning.  Six Nats relievers gave up seven runs.

Manager Jim Riggleman pinch-hit for reliever Jesse English in the fifth inning--with starting pitcher Jason Marquis.

Like I said, one of those nights.

Washington's starter tonight, right-hander Craig Stammen, was in a word, terrible.  Staked to a three-run lead in the first inning, Stammen could not benefit from the prosperity.  He gave up four in the first, and another three in the second, before being lifted with just one out in the second inning.

Stammen's line:  1.1 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HR.

English came in and did some good work, keeping the Nats in the game for a couple innings.  He went two and two-thirds innings, allowing four hits and no walks, striking out two.

English finds himself in a group of relievers that might be sent down when the Nats have to activate Scott Olsen for tomorrow's start. 

It would be hard to fathom how the rookie left-hander could be sent down after tonight's performance, but given that he has all his options, and a couple of the other candidates are out of options, he may still be the choice to get sent out.

The pitchers that followed English threw gas on the fire that was lit by Stammen.

Jason Bergmann (L, 0-1, 15.43) gave up two runs on one hit (a Shane Victorino home run) and a walk.  Sean Burnett got one out and gave up a Chase Utley home run.

Brian Bruney walked three and all three scored.

Tyler Clippard, brought in to relieve Bruney, allowed all three of Bruney's walks to score and gave up one of his own.

Only Miguel Batista escaped unscathed, pitching a clean eighth inning.

The Nats got seven runs in the first three innings, but were then shut down, going four innings without a hit.

Adam Kennedy had a three-run double and Cristian Guzman knocked in two.  Nyjer Morgan reached base three out of four plate appearances.  And Alberto Gonzalez went 2-for-3 with a walk.

But after the third inning, the Nats bats could not keep up, and the Phils cruised the rest of the way, beating up the meatballs the Nats pitchers were heaving up there the rest of the night.

But the biggest indictment of the Nationals plight came in the fifth inning, with the Nats down 7-5, still easily in the game.

With English at the end of his appearance, the Nats needed a pinch-hitter to bat for the pitcher with a runner on second and two outs.  Manager Jim Riggleman, his bench already short with Ryan Zimmerman nursing a sore hamstring, decided his best option to pinch-hit was starting pitcher Jason Marquis.

Now Marquis is a Silver Slugger Award winner as the best batter at the pitcher position.  But he's still a pitcher.  Marquis lined softly to the shortstop to end the inning.

Because the starting pitching on this team is so suspect that they have to carry eight releivers, it comes at the expense of the bench.  Coupled with the fact that there is no power on the bench as it's currently configured, Riggleman came to the decision his best hope for a hit in that situation was to send up a pitcher.

Anyway, the Phillies scored two in the bottom of the frame, making a two-run game a four-run game, and the competitive portion of the game was over.

The Nats and Phillies complete the three-game set tomorrow at 3:05 pm.  Scott Olsen makes his 2010 debut against J. A. Happ (1-0).

NATS NOTES:  Zimmerman took batting practice and fielder grounders before the game and was available to pinch-hit, but missed his third straight game.

Adam Dunn had his first extra-base hit of the season, a lead-off double in the sixth inning.  He would be stranded at second.