John Ely has a wind-borne debut
Citi Field looked like a wreckage site Wednesday, debris whirling around Matt Kemp as he stood in center field during the latest Dodgers defeat.
Thrown into the middle of this actual and figurative whirlwind to make his major league debut was John Ely, who was the pitcher of record in the 7-3 loss that sealed a series sweep for the New York Mets.
One of the two pitchers acquired in the deal that sent Juan Pierre to the Chicago White Sox last winter, Ely learned Monday that he would be called up from triple-A Albuquerque to replace sidelined opening-day starter Vicente Padilla.
Ely was charged with five runs and six hits in six innings, but Manager Joe Torre said the right-hander pitched better than the statistics indicated.
Ely was doomed by one bad inning, a four-run second in which a moment of hesitation cost him dearly.
With men on first base and third base, Ely fielded a grounder by Jeff Francoeur. Ely got a force out at second base, but the instant he took to check the runner at third cost him a chance at a double play.
David Wright still scored on the play to put the Mets up, 1-0, and the extra out helped them add three runs.
“I tried to do too much,” Ely said.
But Torre liked how Ely recovered.
“He gave up those runs but he didn’t fall apart,” Torre said.
Ely held the Mets to one run and two hits over the next four innings.
“I just kind of stopped trying to do too much, especially when I was ahead of the count,” he said.
Ely said seven or eight family members from his home state of Illinois flew in to watch him. Ten friends made the trip from various parts of the country.
Catcher Russell Martin said Ely has a promising future.
“He’s going to be very good,” Martin said. “I don’t know if he knows it yet.”
Rafael Furcal underwent an MRI exam that showed he had a slightly strained hamstring. He will be examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles, but Torre said it didn’t appear as if Furcal was headed for the 15-day disabled list…. Martin hit his second home run of the season, a two-run blast in the fifth inning. The hit was one of only four the Dodgers got against starter John Maine…. Although Torre said he would prefer to avoid starting Charlie Haeger on short rest for the second consecutive time, he said the knuckleballer was one of three candidates to start Saturday, along with Carlos Monasterios and Ramon Ortiz.
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