Our club is where we want it to be at this point. Over the course of the year, you're going to have your ups and downs, but this is a good feeling.

Our front office was able to add some valuable reinforcements. We were able to get some good veteran players like Jim Thome, George Sherrill, Jon Garland and Ronnie Belliard. Those guys have played in so many different situations before. Any time you can bring in the caliber of those players, it makes your team better. You want to stack your team.

The new guys have been able to get comfortable right away. Our chemistry is good, which is pretty important as you look back at our season. We've battled through some things.

But we still have a way to go, so the key is to go out and keep playing as we have. During the second half of the season, Colorado and San Francisco have really made a good charge at us. As a matter of fact, they're still coming after us. We have to keep working hard to stay in first place.

I'm happy with the way I'm feeling physically right now. The baseball season is long, but I feel healthy and I feel energized and ready to go. That's a plus because, if you're grinding, it can become a mental challenge as well.

Any time you are winning, you and your teammates are going to have a lot of fun. The winning part is the key to the fun, though. You always want to be playing for something. Each day, everyone is making an effort toward the goal of reaching the playoffs and, hopefully, the World Series.

Last season, I got my first taste of the playoffs. It's just a crazy atmosphere. You have some games during the season that are pretty big, ones where big crowds really get into it, but the playoffs just take it one step further. It really is a different feeling, a great feeling.

James Loney, the 19th overall selection in the 2002 Draft, is batting .283 with 13 home runs and 87 RBIs for the first-place Dodgers.