The Dodgers have desperately missed Rafael Furcal since he went down with a back injury on May 5. The shortstop had a .366/.448/.597 line when he got hurt, and five weeks later his 34 runs scored still leads the team. With Furcal (right) the Dodgers scored 5.4 runs per game. Without him they've averaged just 3.3. The lack of a leadoff hitter has crippled the offense. Manager Joe Torre turned back to disappointing outfielder Juan Pierre, who at week's end had led off every game since the Furcal injury and hit an anemic .256/.316/.288. No amount of speed will make a .316 OBP in the leadoff spot viable. Until Furcal returns, Torre should find a creative solution to the leadoff problem, such as catcher Russell Martin (.422 OBP) or outfielder Andre Ethier (.357 OBP).
KIRBY LEE/US PRESSWIRE (FURCAL)