Dodgers Lose Game; May Have Gained a Pitcher

The Dodgers offensive attack is still pretty offensive but they may have gained a pitcher in John Ely, who turns 24 in May, was battered early in the game but righted the ship to allow one run over his final four innings. He took the loss as New York collected a 7-3 victory.

Ely, out of Miami of Ohio, was obtained along with Jon Link in the Juan Pierre trade with the Chicago White Sox. In his first Triple-A experience he was 2-1 over three starts at Albuquerque and led the starting staff with a 3.00 earned run average after crafting a AA Southern League-leading 14-3 record and 125 strikeouts.

Called up to replace Vicente Padilla in the starting rotation he finished his six innings by allowing six hits and six runs and left the game trailing 5-3.

His fastball isn't overpowering but he uses his curve and slider well and is tough to hit when he can spot the ball where he wans it.

On another cold and windy day in New York, with the field littered with blowing hot dog and popcorn wrappers, the Dodgers managed only five hits; just one after the fifth inning.

Nearly half of the Los Angeles outs were by the strikeout route (13), with every starter but Russell Martin carrying his bat back to the dugout. Andre Ethier and James Loney each had a hat trick with three whiffs and Casey Blake picked up two.

The Mets scored four in the second inning and the specter of another runaway flitted through the Dodgers fans minds. An error allowed a Los Angeles run in the third but the Mets picked that up in the bottom of the inning.

Russell Martin laced a home run with a runner on base in the fifth to cut the lead to 5-3, but the Dodger could never mount much of a threat after that although they left two on in the ninth.

Ronald Belisario, called upon to hold he line after Ely left, was tagged for two runs on three hits in the seventh to give the Mets plenty of breathing room.

Manager Joe Torre patched together a lineup that included Ronnie Belliard at second and Jamey Carroll at short for Rafael Furcal who pulled or strained his hamstring in the second game of the series.

Russell Martin led off for the first time this season, Kemp batted in the second slot and Xavier Paul drew a start in left.

Mets Strike Quickly
After Ely worked around a walk in the first inning, New York broke the scoreless tie in the second inning. David Wright, who would be in the hall of fame right now he he played the Dodgers every game, doubled to lead off. Ike Davis singled him to third and the turning point of the game happened next.

Jeff Francoeur hit a one-hopper back to the mound and Ely grabbed it, looked at third and threw to second for the force out as the first run scored. Had he not hesitated and had gone directly to Carroll at second it might -- might -- have been a double play, with the run still scoring but with two out and a man at first.

Ely hit the Mets catcher, pitcher David Maine bunted the runners into scoring position and both Angel Pagan and Alex Cora followed with doubles that gave New York a 4-0 bulge.

Carroll beat out and infield hit, Ely bunted him over and after Martin bounced out, Kemp lived on a wild throw by shortstop Jose Reyes that allowed a run.

The Mets used a walk and Francoeur's double to get the run back in the bottom of the inning. they would add two more in the seventh off Belisario.

Carroll walked in the fifth and Martin lined a shot into the glove of a fan standing in the first row of the left field seats to cut the deficit to a pair of runs. Matt Kemp doubled and moved to third on a wild pitch but Ethier fanned and Loney bounced out.

That was the final Dodgers hit until the ninth. After Belliard walked with one out, Xavier Paul looped a ground rule double down the left-field line. However, Carroll and Garret Anderson were the Dodgers 12th and 13th strikeout victims to end the game.

The Dodgers had the misfortune to catch the Mets on a hot streak. Including the sweep they have on seven straight, nine of 10 and have moved into first place in the N.L. East division.

Los Angeles slips to 8-13 with the loss and will return home to play Pittsburgh four times and the Brewers and Colorado three each.

What's in a Name?
John Ely is the first Dodgers pitcher by the name of Ely but in 1891, the second year Brooklyn was in the National League, a player named Frederick William "Bones" Ely (he was 6-1 and 155 pounds) played shortstop for them -- but briefly. He had 17 hits in 111 times at bat for a .153 average and moved on to St. Louis after that season and had much better success.

Mets rookie first baseman Ike Davis is the son of Ron Davis who pitched for the Dodgers in 1987, compiling a 0-0, 6.75 record over nine games and 17 innings.

He arrived in Los Angeles late in his career after recording 22. 30. 29 and 25 saves for Minnesota 1982-75, being selected to the All-Star game in 1981. He also worked in 10 post-season games for the Yankees in 1980 and 1981, facing the Dodgers n the World Series.

--The Dodgers finished the nine-game road trip 2-7, losing series in Cincinnati, Washington and New York. They have clinched their first losing season since 2006 (12-13) and it was only the fourth losing April in the last 17 years. ...Over the last five games against the Nationals and Mets, the Dodgers have hit below .200, while averaging two runs per contest. Over that time the Dodgers have hit just three homers and their record is 1-5. Reliever Ramon Troncoso leads the Major Leagues this season with 14 appearances and is tied for eighth in the NL with 12.1 innings relief. Reliever Hong-Chih Kuo, who has a ridiculous 0.35 ERA (1 ER/26.0 IP) against New York and is also 3-0, didn't see action during the cold three-game series. ...On this date in 1985, Dodger left-hander Fernando Valenzuela set a Major League record by firing 41.0 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run to start the season. Valenzuela can be heard as an analyst for all Dodger home games and road games within the division on KHJ 930 AM La Ranchera.

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