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Giants, Dodgers say division race far from over

Giants, Dodgers say division race far from over

Giants, Dodgers say division race far from over
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants sprang to a season-best 5 1/2 games over the Dodgers in the National League West standings after Friday's 5-2 win, but both clubhouses were in agreement afterward -- there's a long way to go in determining the division winner, starting with Saturday's follow-up.

"For me, I don't feel like it's over at all," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said after stressing the need to win the series. "We just need to keep perspective at where we're at this moment and not get too down and say, 'Oh, we're X amounts of games behind San Francisco, things really look bad.'"

Mattingly said that his coaching staff has been tasked with making sure that the Dodgers players aren't making too much of the series despite the excitement generated from fans and the attention given to the series from a national scale.

"You ask your guys to bring intensity to a certain level and then keep it there, instead of trying to get up for San Francisco, and then not be ready for San Diego or not be ready for somebody else," Mattingly said. "You like to hear guys say that it's just another game."

That could be easier said than done, especially with the rivalry being magnified with the division title and a postseason berth on the line, as Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that the competitive rivalry is "bred in both systems" even as early as the Minors.

"There's added attention from the fans, and there's the history here," Bochy said. "We like to think that we approach every game the same, though. There's no question that being here in September, you'll feel it everywhere -- the fans, the field. That's why you play the game. No question it raises excitement and intensity."

Mattingly said the Dodgers aren't thinking too much of the Giants' lead in the division, recalling how the St. Louis Cardinals erased a 10 1/2-game Wild Card deficit with an unexpected run through September that ultimately ended with winning the World Series.

"We had St. Louis last year where we swept those guys in four straight," Mattingly said. "They booed and were moaning and groaning about this and that. They looked like a dead team, and you said, 'These guys were done.' Next thing you know, two weeks later, they've caught fire and rolled right through. We've got to get on that roll."

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