06/10/2009 2:47 PM ET
Billingsley: Dodgers first to 40 wins
Big right-hander dominating at the top of LA's rotation
We're the first team in the Majors to win 40 games this season. That means we've played well overall and we've won a lot of close games. It also demonstrates that we've come from behind in a lot of games and that we don't quit.
From a confidence standpoint, it's great to know that we'll battle to the very end and to the final out of every game.
As a team, we're playing very well right now. We have to work to continue that, because it's still early in the season. We need to continue this level of play, and we need to come ready to play every day.
I now have eight wins. The goal for me is the goal of any starter who takes the ball every fifth day: You want to give your team a chance to win. You also want to give your team a complete game, and you always have your mind focused on having your best stuff. In the end, though, all that really matters is that you give your team the best chance to win that you're capable of.
I take a start-to-start approach, and I try not to look too far ahead. You have to focus on what is right in front of you. So all I'm focusing on is my next start.
Some of the Padres hitters had some good at-bats against me on Tuesday night. They fouled a lot of balls off and that drove my pitch count up. You have to give the opposition credit for that. I had to battle, and I was able to keep the game close. Every day is a battle, whether you're a pitcher or a batter.
I also got good offensive support from my teammates. Andre Ethier has been unbelievable lately. He hit two home runs behind me on Tuesday night. He's been great going back to our four-game series against Philadelphia over the weekend. Andre is really hot right now, and hopefully he can continue that.
Russell Martin has really played a big role in our early success this season, too. He's been throwing out runners and does a great job at helping pitchers keep base runners close.
Chad Billingsley, who has emerged as the Dodgers' No. 1 starter in his fourth season, is playing a big role in the club's strong start. He's 8-3 with a 2.73 ERA and 90 strikeouts through 13 starts.