Reunion of 2020 Rays vs. Dodgers World Series on Friday

When the Rays last faced the Dodgers, Los Angeles was celebrating their 2020 World Series victory in Arlington, Texas, the epicenter of the pandemic’s severe restrictions. Friday, the Rays will face off again with the best of the best. The Dodgers went 37-15 in the American League and finished second in the National League (31-20, behind Atlanta in percentage points).

It will be Los Angeles’ first visit to Tropicana Field since 2019 and fifth overall. How big a deal it is depends on who you ask. Rays infielder Taylor Walls says it’s nothing special. “To be honest, I forgot we played with them [this weekend] until you mentioned it. and try to put together a plan to be successful that day, and that’s it: “I don’t really think about who exactly I’m going to play with, or the hype around it, or what the future holds.”

For outfielder Randy Arrozarena, who made a splash in the 2020 postseason, it’s a reminder of missed opportunities. “I had a pretty good series,” he said via team interpreter Manny Navarro. “But I wanted a World Series ring.” Additionally, Arrozarena noted, “It’s a completely different team,” adding, “2020 is 2020 and it’s past, but this year is 2023.”

The Rays continued their bullpen shuffle, recalling Calvin Forcher from Triple-A and enabling left-hander Jake Deekman off the paternity list. Relief pitcher Ben Heller and infielder Vidal Bourjean, who were called up Wednesday, have options to return to Durham to make room.

Lefty Jaylen Beeks will be the opening pitcher on Friday, while righty Cooper Criswell is expected to put in a lot of innings. The Rays became the first team since the Astros in 1995 to steal seven bases in two games in the same season. While the Rays are trying to improve and stabilize their bullpen, they have benefited from four seven starts in the last seven games (twice each for Shane McLanahan and Zac Eflin).

Thursday attendance numbers were 10,736 for him, and the total for the four games was 40,198 for him. Sign up for the Sports Today newsletter for daily updates on Bucks, Rays, Lightning and college football across Florida. Never miss an update with your favorite Tampa Bay sports team. Follow our coverage on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to notifications Unsubscribe from notifications.

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