Astros news: Why can’t more guys be on Kyle Tucker’s level?
By Josh Sippie
The Houston Astros went from craving a Kyle Tucker emergence to craving more to be like Kyle Tucker. That’s quite the transformation.
The narrative has changed. I just watched one of the best at-bats of the season for the Houston Astros. Kyle Tucker went down 0-2, laying off some close pitches to work the count back full. Then he laced a line drive to centerfield to get a clutch two-out RBI when Carlos Correa and Josh Reddick had, yet again, failed.
It was reminiscent of the “lost at-bat” of Taylor Jones, when he worked a walk in the final game against Colorado, but the difference here was that the walk wasn’t there for the taking. If it was, Tucker would have taken it.
Suddenly, he knows how to lay off every pitch that is not exactly what he wants. He already had two walks on the day and the one out he did make was a smoked grounder into the left side of the shift for a sharp groundout.
Kyle Tucker is the trendsetter for the Houston Astros now
On the day, Tucker had zero guys left on base. Compare that to our three, four, and five hitters, Correa, Reddick, and Abraham Toro, who left 13 guys on base at that point, with seven strikeouts between the two of them.
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What’s the point of all of this rambling? The point is that right now, Kyle Tucker is far and away the Astros’ best hitter, and we should be craving for more guys to be at his level.
It’s three in a row now, encompassing the two games in the split series at Colorado and the opener against San Diego. It’s clear to see where it stems from too—in the second game against Colorado, he didn’t swing at a single pitch outside of the zone. He’s had a home run, seven RBIs, five runs, seven hits, and, as of the San Diego opener—two walks.
Which, honestly, is the most impressive part of the streak, since he’d taken just four walks prior to taking two really good walks against the Padres.
I wouldn’t say that’s the last piece of the puzzle, but damn it’s close.
Baseball is a streaky sport. What was working against Colorado was everything. Tucker just seemed to be the engine powering it the most. Against San Diego, it became clear that the supporting cast was dropping off, but Kyle Tucker remained.
The trick now is getting more people on Tucker’s level. Jose Altuve is a great start.