LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly spoke with Most Valuable Player candidate Matt Kemp Saturday about getting a day off.
"He laughed at me," Mattingly said. "He wants to finish what he started."
Kemp has played in 354 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the Major Leagues. He only needs another 11 seasons without missing a game to catch Cal Ripken's 2,131.
"That's a lot of games, man. I've got a long time to go, but I plan on it," Kemp said with a smile.
Kemp became the 13th player in Major league history with at least 30 homers and 40 steals in a single season. He also is the eighth Los Angeles Dodger with 100 runs and 100 RBIs in the same season.
Mattingly, who played all 162 games in only one season (1986) can appreciate what is driving Kemp.
"I'm sure he's tired," Mattingly said. "At this point, every day there is a sense of pride playing every day. It is an accomplishment, getting yourself ready and it's not something I want to take away from him, even though it would probably be good for him. Off days feel pretty good. I promise you, 10 days into the offseason he'll be one sore guy."
"It's demanding, especially in center field. There's a lot of running to do," said Kemp. "There are times when my body kind of doesn't feel right. You wake up and your whole body is sore. But once the lights come on and you see the fans, it's hard not to play. I want to play every game, and the thing about it, even when you get days off, by the third or fourth inning, you just want to get back in there and play. I still want to play."
Jansen racking up K's at near-record pace
LOS ANGELES -- Kenley Jansen is striking out batters at a pace that even former Dodger Cy Young winner Eric Gagne couldn't match.
Jansen has 85 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings -- including the two he recorded Saturday night -- for an average of 15.72 per nine innings. That not only leads the Major Leagues this year, but it's approaching the all-time record of 15.99 set by Cubs closer Carlos Marmol last year.
Jansen is doing this primarily with one pitch, a cutter, just like his hero, Mariano Rivera.
"Mo does have 601 saves. Maybe it's unfair to put [Jansen] in that category," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "But 15 strikeouts per nine innings, that's a pretty good indicator. Obviously, his strikeouts have been dominant.
"He had a rocky road coming out of camp, and he was a guy we were counting on going in and he didn't seem to be that guy early on. But the experience of dealing with failure helps you grow up and become better. Now he seems confident. It's been a nice experience for him and for us, a guy we can count on."
Jansen said he's gone from a pitcher programmed via the advance scouting report to an observer of opposing hitters in the game able to adjust.
"I study the hitters during the game. The hitters show you what you can do," he said.
Lilly hits milestone, finishing strong
LOS ANGELES -- Ted Lilly is finishing up the season strong. Saturday night's victory was his third win in the last four decisions and gave him 10 wins for the season, the ninth consecutive season he's hit that milestone.
Lilly, as is his nature, isn't satisfied with his season.
"I need to pitch better," Lilly said. "A lot of games I got out-pitched by the other guy. This is about competing. The object is to win, the goal is to win games."
What Lilly won't say is that of his 14 losses, the Dodgers were shut out in three and held to one run in five.
While allowing one run Saturday night, Lilly has posted a 2.59 ERA over his last nine starts with a .173 opponents' batting average, and has not allowed a home run in his last four starts -- one shy of his career-best streak.
"I'm feeling better," said Lilly, who pitched through a sore elbow in July. "My breaking ball is sharper and my fastball command is better."
Lilly is signed through 2013.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.