Kyle Tucker Struck Out In His First Three At-Bats Then Changed His Cleats And Hit Two Home Runs

Baseball players are well known for being superstitious, and there's plenty of stories throughout America's past-time sport that include a few irrational thoughts about wardrobe choices somehow changing the outcome of a performance. When looking at the psychology behind superstitions, no matter if it is more of a placebo effect rather than actually holding truth, there is certainly evidence that some players play better or are at least more comfortable, which in return leads to improved results. That is to say, no matter if it is a particular pre-game ritual or refusing to wash a distinct article of clothing for good luck, there seems to be the notion among players that there is in fact some kind of correlation between supernatural causation leading to certain positive outcomes. As was the case in the Astros 9-4 victory over the Brewers Sunday, when Kyle Tucker changed his cleats mid-game.

To explain, in Tucker's first three at-bats he struck out all three times. That is when the Astros outfielder decided the problem was not his hitting mechanics, but instead his cleats. After being 0-for-3, Tucker went into the locker room to change out his neon green cleats, for some orange ones. Not only did the cleats match better with his team uniform, but apparently gave him some hitting powers as well.

So what was the result you might be wondering, with his new cleats on, in his fourth appearance at the plate, Tucker hit a solo home run to right field. And if that wasn't enough, his fifth at-bat resulted in an oppo drive, three-run homer to left field in the next inning.

"I just didn't really have great first three at-bats with them," Tucker said. "I just decided to come in and swap them back out for my other cleats and it ended up pretty well for me."

As a result of his back-to-back long balls, the 27-year-old now has 15 home runs on the year, which currently ties him with Orioles' Gunnar Henderson for the most in the MLB.

"He's playing on a different level right now," Astros manager Joe Espada said postgame. "He's a really, really good player."

Tucker is batting .287, and has an OPS of 1.039 so far this season, only trailing Shohei Ohtani (1.080).

Despite a lackluster start to the season, the Houston Astros have now won nine out of their last 11 games, and sit at four games back in the AL West division (21-26).

Considering his performance, moving forward, it may be in both Tucker and the team's best interest for him to continue wearing the orange cleats. Will that lead to more wins? It surely can only help, as in the words of former NFL/MLB player, Deion Sanders, "If you look good, you feel good, and if you feel good, you play good, and if you play good, they pay good."

Tucker is currently on a one-year/$12 million dollar contract, but if he keeps playing the way he has, the two-time All-Star will be eligible for a much larger deal entering free agency next offseason.

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