ST. PETERSBURG — The final time the Rays saw the Dodgers, Los Angeles was celebrating its victory in the 2020 Planet Series in Arlington, Texas, the neutral web-site amid serious pandemic restrictions.
Friday, they will meet once again, with the Rays in possession of the most effective record (37-15) in the American League and the Dodgers the second-most effective (31-20, percentage points behind Atlanta) in the National League. It will be L.A.’s 1st pay a visit to to Tropicana Field given that 2019 and just its fifth all round.
How significant a deal it is depends on whom you ask.
To Rays infielder Taylor Walls, it is practically nothing specific.
“I do not know, they’re just a further group, I guess,” he stated. “I honestly forgot we played them (this weekend) till you just described it. We just show up each day, appear at the job at hand, appear at the scouting report and attempt to place with each other a program to be prosperous that day. And that is quite a lot it.
“We do not definitely place also a lot believed into specifically who we’re playing or the hype about it or what the possibilities may possibly be in the future.”
Rays manager Kevin Money requires the ball from beginning pitcher Blake Snell (four) in the sixth inning of Game six of the 2020 Planet Series against the Dodgers. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
To outfielder Randy Arozarena, who had a breakout functionality through the 2020 postseason, it is a reminder of a missed chance.
“I had a quite excellent Series,” he stated by way of group interpreter Manny Navarro, “but I wanted the Planet Series ring. I wanted to win it.”
Plus, Arozarena pointed out, “it’s a incredibly unique group.”
“2020 was 2020 and it is in the previous, but this is year 2023,” he stated. “We’re attempting to get to the playoffs and we assume we can do it, and (want to) play a excellent series against them.”
To Rays manager Kevin Money — in spite of the six-game loss and scrutiny of his choice to take out starter Blake Snell in Game six — it is a opportunity to appear back and smile at the highlights, which includes the wild Game four win sparked by Brett Phillips.
“Great memories,” Money stated. “A lot of entertaining. Certainly, we came up quick, but definitely appreciated that, seeking back how exceptional that 2020 postseason was, having to the Planet Series. Proud of that, to be a element of that group. And I’m positive it will be talked about more than this weekend with (the Dodgers) coming in.”
Bullpen shuffle, continued
Rays relief pitcher Calvin Faucher (58) pitches in the leading of the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays Thursday at Tropicana Field. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
The Rays continued their bullpen shuffle, recalling Calvin Faucher from Triple-A and activating left-hander Jake Diekman from the paternity list.
To make space, reliever Ben Heller and infielder Vidal Brujan, who have been known as up Wednesday, have been optioned back to Durham.
Faucher created the opening-day roster but was sent down April 30 (immediately after compiling a six.43 ERA in eight games, enabling 16 hits and six walks in 14 innings) to get operate in bullpen sessions refining what Money known as “stupid good” stuff. Faucher pitched in only 3 games for the Bulls, enabling 3 hits and 3 walks more than four-two/three innings. Thursday, he worked a one particular-stroll eighth.
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“It’s nevertheless a operate in progress,” Money stated just before the game. “He can definitely assistance us. We’ve just got to come across a way to get him in the zone a small bit extra regularly. But his stuff fits definitely effectively with the back finish of our bullpen …. his two breaking balls that he throws, and the fastball.”
Brujan was brought up as a hedge offered uncertainty more than the availability of corner infielder Yandy Diaz due to a household matter. Diaz was back with the group Thursday and “totally available” if required, Money stated.
Diekman returned immediately after going residence to Nebraska for the birth of a daughter on Monday. He had a rough outing Thursday, coming in for the ninth with a six-1 lead and enabling two one particular-out singles and a stroll to produce a save predicament that Colin Poche, immediately after a bases-loaded stroll and a sacrifice fly, converted.
Rays beginning pitcher Zach Eflin pitches in the 1st inning Thursday at Tropicana Field. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Lefty Jalen Beeks will be the opener Friday, with proper-hander Cooper Criswell anticipated to operate bulk innings. … The Rays are the 1st group with two seven-steal games in the exact same season given that the 1995 Astros. … As the Rays attempt to boost and stabilize their bullpen, they’ve benefited from 4 seven-inning begins (two every single by Shane McClanahan and Zach Eflin) more than their final seven games. … Eflin is six- with a two.19 ERA in six begins at the Trop. … Attendance was ten,736 Thursday, for a 4-game total of 40,198.
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