Matt Kemp's joining the 30 home run, 30 steals club Friday was just another excuse for Mattingly to do so.
"I don't think there's any doubt that Davey did a good job with our guys on the bases," Mattingly said when asked why Kemp's steals are already up 14 from last year with more than a month remaining in the season.
Mattingly noted that it isn't just Kemp who has been impacted by Lopes this year. The Dodgers as a team have stolen 98 bases and have been caught just 24 times. They rank fourth in the league in steals -- already with more than they had last season -- and second in stolen base percentage after finishing 14th in 2010.
The difference isn't more evident anywhere than it has been with Kemp. He has 33 stolen bases and has been caught just seven times. In 2010 he stole 19 bases and was caught 15 times.
"Davey sees things on the bases that I don't think anybody else sees," Mattingly said.
Mattingly didn't discredit Kemp, noting how much work Kemp has put in on the basepaths, but he noted how Lopes, who stole 418 bases in his 10 seasons with the Dodgers during the 70s and early 80s, has changed the team's entire mindset.
"Davey has done a really good job with the mentality of the way we want to play and the way we want to run the bases," Mattingly said. "It's not just stealing bases. It's turns, it's secondary leads and it's being aggressive."