The last time the Los Angeles Dodgers hosted the Tampa Bay Rays from Aug. 9-11 of 2013, Don Mattingly was the manager, Matt Kemp was still a prominent force in the lineup, and Andrew Friedman had no idea that Chavez Ravine would be his stomping grounds in two seasons.
What a difference a couple of years make. Mattingly is in Miami where he now manages the Marlins, Kemp is in San Diego playing for the Padres, and Friedman is at the helm of the Dodgers instead of the Rays, where he was the general manager from 2005-2014.
Fast-forward to present day and the Dodgers will host the Rays in a two-game set at Dodger Stadium. This marks the first baseball game played at Chavez Ravine since the All-Star break.
These two teams are familiar with each other from this season. The Dodgers traveled to Tampa Bay and split a two-game series with the Rays at Tropicana Field on May 3 and 4. Scott Kazmir (a former member of the Rays and a player Friedman helped scout) got the win in Game 1, while Alex Wood took the loss in Game 2.
This series will feature potential trade candidate Chris Archer (5-13, 4.60 ERA) facing Bud Norris (5-9, 4.56 ERA) on Tuesday night. Wednesday’s afternoon matchup is between Matt Moore (6-7, 4.31 ERA) and Brandon McCarthy (2-0, 1.61 ERA).
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) July 25, 2016
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) July 24, 2016
Tuesday will also mark the return of Evan Longoria to the Los Angeles area, where he grew up in Downey and went to St. Raymond Catholic School and Long Beach State. In college, he competed against his counterpart in this series, Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner (Turner went to Cal State Fullerton).
The Dodgers find themselves trailing the San Francisco Giants by 2.5 games in the National League West. This series is important for the Dodgers to make up more ground as they find themselves in a favorable matchup with the Rays, who are 20 games behind the first-place Baltimore Orioles in the American League East standings.