While thumping the Texas Rangers on Wednesdays 7-2, the Houston Astros and Kyle Tucker unveiled a new celebration: The Tucker Stretch. In the top of the eighth inning, Tucker slammed his 26th homer of the season on a drive to right-center field. As he rounded third base, the left-hander and third base coach Omar Lopez unveiled The Tucker Stretch.
Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman jokingly mocked Tucker as he rounded third as well. The celebration started between Jason Castro and Tucker, as the Astros’ catcher would give Tucker a high five or a fist bump and the two would overexaggerate the pain. Tucker has used the celebration for quite sometime this season, but he opened about its origin on Wednesday night.
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While the Astros celebrate Kyle Tucker’s big knocks with this new celebration, manager Dusty Baker should consider keeping the left-hander high in the order.
Tucker is the hottest hitter on the Astros, as his 3-for-4 night on Wednesday pushed his season OPS to .910. The left-hander is slashing .374/.447/.677 in the last month with six long balls, 19 RBI and only 16 strikeouts to his 14 walks.
With Michael Brantley on the shelf, Tucker has a clear path for more at-bats at the top of the order. While Baker has mix and matched righties and lefties one through seven this season, the right fielder would benefit the team mightily with consistent at-bats at the top.
Coming into Wednesday, Tucker was slashing .318/.379/.588 with at least one runner on base this season. The lefty has totaled 57 RBI with runners in scoring position in 2021 as well, which makes up more than half of his 83 RBI on the season.
Constructing a lineup with Tucker at the top isn’t a hard task, as Jose Altuve would obviously continue to leadoff with Tucker right behind him. From there, Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Correa and Gurriel could follow, continuing to show how deep this lineup is even with Brantley out.
Jose Urquidy looked to be on a pitch count on Wednesday, throwing 81 pitches (54 strikes) through six innings of work. The right-hander surrendered one run on two hits and a walk, while also punching out six. The Astros return to action on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. looking to take the series from the Rangers with Framber Valdez battling Glenn Otto for the king of the hill.