Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/16/12

The Dodgers are in first place and their closest division rival, the Giants, have lost one of their best players for the rest of the regular season in Melky Cabrera. But Dodgers manager Don Mattingly isn't jumping for joy.

Cabrera was hitting .347 for San Francisco, the major league leader in hits, and was the All-Star Game MVP just last month in Kansas City. But Mattingly knows Cabrera from his time as hitting coach and bench coach in New York, when Cabrera was a young player with the Yankees.

"I know Melky's a good kid," Mattingly said. "Honestly, I like him a lot."

The Dodgers have won four consecutive games, are 5-1 in the first six games of their 10-game road trip, and they are alone in first place in the National League West for the first time since July 13. But Mattingly knows the Dodgers can't assume the Giants will fold without Cabrera.

"We've got to be ready to play that day, and we're going to need a win every time we play them," Mattingly said. "Again, just try to win every day. I'm not worrying about them. I'm worried about us executing against whatever lineup they throw out there."

The Dodgers still have nine games remaining against the Giants, and those games, now guaranteed to be without Cabrera, will go a long way in determining the National League West winner.

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