Experts told us when the Dodgers swapped Juan Pierre for a couple of minor league pitchers that reliever Jon Link could make the Dodgers roster almost immediately but that Ely, a starter who seemed to possess just average stuff, would probably take a couple years in the minor league to be able to do the club any good.
So much for the experts. Link is back in Albuquerque and Ely, after six quality starts, has pitched well enough to be 6-0.
Ely took a two-hitter into the eighth inning but a pair of left-handed hitters, Mike Fontenot and Tyler Colvin, tagged him for a triple that just eluded a diving James Loney and skipped past Xavier Paul in right field, plus an RBI double that drove in the only run of the game.
“It’s a tough little corner,” Colvin said. “You’ve got the drain, a little spot where the ball can roll down. And there’s hardly any room between the wall and the line."
Los Angeles managed a two-out single in the second by Reed Johnson, a single to center by Casey Blake in the fourth, three walks in the fifth, another Blake single in the sixth and singles by Russell Martin and Matt Kemp in the eighth.
Carlos Marmol walked Blake DeWitt in the ninth but then struck out a pair of geriatrics, Manny Ramirez and Garret Anderson to end the game. Overall, the Dodgers left nine on base.
Lilly allowed three hits and Blake complained that Lilly was not touching the rubber when he pitched in the sixth inning. First base coach Mariano Duncan got in between Blake and crew chief John Hirschbeck, the first-base umpire, and manager Joe Torre briefly came out but nothing came of it.
Paul and Reed Johnson made outstanding defensive plays in the outfield but it was the two hits in the eighth that made the difference.
"The first one, I tried to cut it off, but it hit the lip at the edge of the grass and it went in the other direction," said Paul, who lost his glove when ran into the brick wall. If I wait till it gets to the corner, he'll make third anyway. So it was sort of a do-or-die play.
"The second one, it had a tough spin and I tried to play it off the wall and it hopped in front of me and got by me. To me, they were two tough plays, and I tried to do everything I could to keep them in front of me and came out on the wrong end."
Ely, who grew up South Chicago in a family of White Sox fans and his father refused to come to Wrigley Field to watch his son pitch. But he received a loud ovation when he left the game in the eighth inning.
“It’s great to have the home crowd behind you. There were more people than I expected. It was great, it was real encouraging.”
Before the game, the Dodgers designated 37-year-old Ramon Ortiz for assignment and promoted Justin (Mark) Miller from Albuquerque -- Justin Thomas Miller is a 22-year-old pitching for Great Lakes.
J.T., 32, is known as the "Human Tattoo," and he's spent parts of six seasons in the Major Leagues with Toronto, Florida and San Francisco. He was was 0-1 with a 2.22 ERA in 18 games with Albuquerque.
"He can pitch every day. I saw him do that with the Giants last year," said Torre. "You want on your staff someone with durability."
Ortiz, who gave up eight runs in 7.1 innings over a pair of recent starts and is 102 with a 6.30 earned run average overall, said "I'm happy for the opportunity they gave me to start and relieve. I try to do my best. That's baseball."
"It's a surprise," Miller said. "But I've been doing this long enough to know that you just go down and battle and control what you can control and put yourself in the best position, so when they need someone for it to be you."
Ethier to Rehab With 'Topes
Outfielder Andre Ethier will make a pair of rehab starts with Albuquerque at Memphis tonight and Saturday, then take Sunday off. He's been on the disabled list with a broken finger on his right hand.
"If he feels he needs a game or two more, that's open," Torre said.
"We have to make sure he can play with no hesitation. He seems to have no problems taking batting practice. The finger is in a splint so he's in no danger of re-injuring it."
Dodger Blue Notes --Los Angeles has won four of its last seven, 13 of 176 and 15 of its last 20 contests dating back to May 6. ...Spanish-language broadcaster Jaime Jarrin, former Dodger President Peter O’Malley and Dodger scout Camilo Pascual will be inducted into the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame in ceremonies to be held on Saturday in La Romana, Dominican Republic. ...On this date in 1957, the Dodgers and Giants were granted permission to move to California by the National League club owners.
The Dodgers move to Colorado for a three game series with the Rockies. Probably pitchers include RHP Carlos Monasterios (1-0, 1.90) vs. LHP Jeff Francis (1-0, 0.68) tonight. Saturday RHP Hiroki Kuroda (5-2, 3.03) vs. RHP Aaron Cook (1-3, 5.40) and Sunday, LHP Clayton Kershaw (4-3, 2.90) vs. RHP Jhoulys Chacin (3-2, 3.09).