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Last Night, Kyle Tucker Hit One Of The Clutchest Home Runs Of 2023

Yeah, I feel a little bit vindicated. Kyle Tucker is hilariously slept on. All he does is mash. I know the Astros have handed out several extensions over the last few years, but at some point here, they got to think about locking up Kyle Tucker long-term. That is not a dude that you want to let get away. Last night's game was a prime encapsulation of what makes the Astros so damn unique. It was not a good night for them. Framber Valdez, in his first start, following his no-hitter, was awful. He hasn't been very good over the last month but has a no-hitter thrown in the middle of a rough stretch. The Astros were down 6-3 going into the top of the ninth, with Felix Bautista about to take the mound for Baltimore. When Bautista takes the mound, it's game over. He entered last night's game with an ERA under one. I've written a blog about it before, but you can argue that he probably belongs in the top 3 to 5 in the AL Cy Young conversation. That may have changed last night because Bautista not only blew the save but gave up four runs, all coming on Kyle Tucker's grand slam. 

Walk-off home runs are the coolest, but I feel like there's a lot of players out there who view a crowd silencing top of the ninth inning home run to be every bit as cool. It's got to feel like you have control over the entire earth when you do something like that, and for Tucker to do it against the most elite closer in the game just speaks to the fact that he has a knack for the dramatic. That was also his 20th home run of the season, making him the fourth player in Major League Baseball this year to reach the 20 home run, 20 stolen base mark. 

Even though Felix Bautista put together his worst outing of the year, I'm convinced that Kevin Brown's curse is why the Orioles lost last night. I know it's been talked about ad nauseum, but nothing good comes from that bad juju. The Orioles are a team I route for. They've had a phenomenal season, and they have an excellent young core that will be around for a while, but the baseball gods are unforgiving. I want good things to happen in Baltimore, but this feels like a storyline to watch. It lines up perfectly for them to win the division. The Rays starting pitching staff is dead. Despite last night's loss, Baltimore is still in pretty good shape, but they might need to do a séance or something to eliminate the bad vibes. In fairness, the fans tried to block the spell by chanting "Free Kevin Brown" loud and clear at the ballpark last night. But that wasn't enough to stop Kyle Tucker from wreaking havoc.