Marquis gone in first inning; Nationals trail Phillies 6-1

Remember the good old days when Jason Marquis gave the Nationals a chance to win every time he pitched? Well, for the time being, those appear to be gone. Instead, we’re back to the bad, older days when Marquis couldn’t get through enough batters for Miguel Batista to stake out a comfortable spot in the bullpen before he was summoned to warm up.

Marquis allowed six runs in the first inning, retiring just one batter and giving up six hits as Philadelphia erased an early 1-0 deficit and jumped out to a 6-1 lead. That’s where we sit after 3 1/2 innings, as Batista is working in relief for the Nationals.

The 32-year-old caught a bad break in the first inning, when a would-be double play ball was deflected by second base umpire Tim Tschida. But he struggled to throw strikes, as he did early this year, and got just 19 of 38 pitches over for strikes. He couldn’t get his sinker dropping in the zone, and hit Carlos Ruiz, the final batter he faced. It wasn’t the worst start of the year for Marquis; that dubious honor actually belongs to his April 18 start against the Brewers, during which he gave up seven runs without retiring a batter. But he’ll go into the season’s final homestand once again needing to find himself.

Washington has five hits already against Roy Oswalt, but has scored only one run, and Ivan Rodriguez was just thrown out at the plate trying to score in the top of the fourth, ending the inning.