LOS ANGELES -- With his club nine games over .500 and 3 1/2 games back in the National League West halfway through the season, manager Joe Torre's self-issued report card on Monday had high marks for the team's resiliency despite injuries.
One year ago Monday, the Dodgers were 51-30 and held the best record in the Majors.
"You look at the people you've had to do it without," Torre said. "Manny [Ramirez] now a couple times on the DL. Your starting pitcher Opening Day [Vicente Padilla] on the DL. [Chad] Billingsley on the DL. Matt [Kemp] having the June he had. [Andre] Ethier being on the DL. I think we're alright."
There was Rafael Furcal, too. The injuries created times in May when it looked like the Dodgers had only three starting pitchers, with Charlie Haeger struggling and Padilla sidelined with an irritated nerve in his right elbow. Today, the Dodgers' rotation is the soundest it's been all season now that Billingsley has returned, not only from injury, but to form.
"Billingsley has been a huge find, huge find for us," Torre said. "He's like a new pitcher again."