Rays @ Dodgers July 26, 2016: All eyes on Chris Archer

The Dodgers open a brief two-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. While the trade deadline rumors heat up, the Dodgers find themselves a mere 2 1/2 games out of first place in the NL West with 62 games remaining on their regular season schedule.

The Giants have lost eight of their last ten games, allowing the Dodgers to close the gap in the standings. The Rays, who have had an abysmal season so far, will try to fend off the Dodgers in unfamilar territory. It is only the second series the Rays have ever played at Dodger Stadium during their franchise history. The Dodgers swept a three-game series against Tampa Bay at Chavez Ravine back in 2013.

Bud Norris (2-2, 5.64) made 23 pitches in relief during the 16-inning torturous marathon on Friday night, serving up the walk-off home run to Matt Adams. Norris has already allowed five home runs (2.0 HR/9) as a Dodger in five games. Since his strong debut with the Dodgers on July 1, he has allowed 14 runs on 23 hits in 16 1/3 innings of work.

7:10 p.m. PT
Los Angeles
2B  Forsythe  2B  Utley
SS  Miller  SS  Seager
3B  Longoria  3B  Turner
LF  Dickerson  1B  Gonzalez
1B  Pearce  LF  Kendrick
CF  Kiermaier  C  Grandal
RF  Guyer  RF  Toles
C  Maile  CF  Pederson
Archer (R)
Norris (R)

Norris is 1-2 with a 4.62 ERA against the Rays in seven career games (six starts). Evan Longoria, who grew up watching Dodger games, has three hits vs. Norris, including two homeruns. A trade for Longoria may be a long shot this year, but Dustin wrote about the possibility of an offseason acquisition earlier this month.

Chris Archer (5-13, 4.60), who will face the Dodgers for the first time in his career on Tuesday, has been another name circulating the trade rumor mill for the Dodgers. The Tampa Bay ace would certainly be a welcomed addition to the L.A. rotation especially with Clayton Kershaw currently disabled and possibly facing season-ending back surgery if his disc irritation does not heal. Ironically, Archer hails from Clayton, North Carolina.

The Rays (38-60) are in the cellar and 20 games behind the first-place Orioles in the AL East. They have lost three straight games, including consecutive walk-off losses to the A’s on Friday and Saturday. The 27-year old right-hander Archer is having a bumpy season, with a 4.60 ERA, 89 ERA+ and 20 home runs through 123 1/3 innings. He’s still striking out batters at the same rate as last season (10.73 SO/9), but he’s allowing more walks (3.7 BB/9) and long balls (1.5 HR/9) this year.


Andrew Toles is starting in right field and batting seventh. Dave Roberts said that Yasiel Puig is available tonight off the bench and is feeling better. A retroactive DL stint could still be a possibility. 

Kershaw is still not throwing, and while Andre Ethier took batting practice, there is still no timetable for his return either.


100 games down, 62 to go. With some reinfocements via a trade or two, this Dodgers team shouldn’t be counted out.

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About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the co-editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.