That doesn't mean it's what he's playing for.
Mattingly, whose team sat 14 games below the mark on July 7, said Thursday that the most important part of the season's final week will be building younger players -- not achieving a specific win total.
"Do you sacrifice the chance to build and see a few more guys to get a better record or play .500, which sounds better, but in the end it doesn't really do anything for you?" Mattingly said. "In the end there's going to be X amount of teams that are going to be in the playoffs, and you're not going to be one of them."
The Dodgers play San Diego this weekend in a series Mattingly said he will use to give some of his September callups playing time.
When they head to Arizona to finish the season, Mattingly said he'll likely employ a different philosophy with the D-backs currently jockeying for playoff position.
"Arizona, if it has implications, we'll probably play our lineup and still mix in a kid if you want to," he said.