Seems finding good news for injured Dodgers is a matter of degree

Seems finding good news for injured Dodgers is a matter of degree
Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez follows through on a run-scoring double against the Arizona Diamondbacks. (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images)

Want to know what qualifies as good news from the Dodgers these days?

A player getting injured, but not severe enough to go on the disabled list. Confetti everywhere!


So are you all giddy to learn that Adrian Gonzalez, who came out of Wednesday's game in the fifth inning after aggravating his strained neck, is not talking about missing more time?

When you've already used the disabled list 13 times in the first 30 games of the season and are in the midst of a numbing seven-game losing streak, you count your victories any way you can.

So the Dodgers took their weary arms and battered pride into Thursday's off day and tried to act grateful that Gonzalez did not think the injury would keep him out of the lineup.

"I'll be ready to go Friday," was all Gonzalez said after Wednesday's 3-2 loss to Arizona. He did not seem happy, and it was his birthday.

Well, they'd best hope he can go. Gonzalez leads the team with 23 runs batted in, and driving in runs has been a particular problem for the Dodgers, who are batting .212 with runners in scoring position.

Gonzalez originally injured his neck a week ago, running into an umpire while chasing a foul ball. When players are dropping like rain in the Amazon, even umpires pose a threat.

Gonzalez aggravated the neck diving for a ball in the fourth inning Wednesday night, the very thing team officials had been concerned about last weekend in San Francisco.

"He didn't look real good when he came out," Manager Don Mattingly said.

Magnifying the Dodgers' plight is the fact that they have no true first baseman to back up Gonzalez. In San Francisco, they used Juan Uribe and, for the first time in his career at first base, Luis Cruz. And then there's catcher Ramon Hernandez (.045 batting average).

So you can understand if the Dodgers are hoping/expecting that if Gonzalez does have to sit, it's for a brief time.

"I'm not sure it's going to be good, but I'm hoping it won't be anything long-term," Mattingly said.

Hope, like most things, can be very relative.