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May 28, 2024 8 mins
Astros right fielder Kyle Tucker joins The Matt Thomas Show ahead of the second of a four-game series on the road against the Seattle Mariners. The Astros dropped the first game versus the Mariners 3-2 on Monday after earning a series win against the Athletics in Oakland. Tucker recorded a home run on Sunday, continuing to lead MLB with 18 home runs on the season. Tucker talks about how he is improving his at-bats, his superstition with changing cleats, Astros fans traveling with the team and more.
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Episode Transcript

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(00:00):
The one only Kyle Tucker's going tojoin us. A couple minutes on the

(00:02):
show, Tucket's Matt and Ross.How are things in the Pacific Northwest?
Oh, it's all good. Alittle cold, but it's all good.
Hey, what is that stadium like? I mean, because I feel like
every right field I've ever seen playthere, including you, there's some funky
wind blowing. I mean, isit harder to play there than his other
places? Because again it's sort ofa roof, it's sort of not a

(00:24):
roof too. No, that's allright. I mean, obviously, when
it's raining and you got that kindof weather, that'll close the roof,
but for the most part it's open. Probably I don't know, I guess
a normal amount of wind. Butit's it's pretty nice. It's a nice
stadium and they have some good fansand pretty pretty nice to play, right.

(00:48):
Just tell him stop boonel to it. It's getting kind of old,
don't you think. Uh? Yeah, I mean you know that's you know,
kind of just how it goes rightnow, and regardless of what the
fans are doing, you just gotto go out there and play, and
you know that's what he's been doingspeaking of fans. Could you hear yourself
sprinting around the bases in Oakland becausethere were no fans there this weekend.

(01:11):
No, we had a good amountof ass those fans out there. I
mean, you know, we traveledpretty well on the road, and you
know they came out in supported usout in Oakland. There's a few of
them here in Seattle as well,So I mean we have a good amount
of you know, Astros fans travelingwith us on the road. I think
in Oakland you can actually hear everyoneand go, yeah, Kyle, that
was great, great four backs.Congratulations you can actually introduce yourself as you're

(01:32):
going between first and second base.Hey, congratulates on your season. The
home run count has been fantastic.I gotta ask you have been with batting
gloves without and then you changed fromcleats to different color cleats. Is this
this who you are? You're You'vealways tried to tinker with various things,
whether they make a huge difference ornot, or is this one of those
situations. We just happened to catchyou with the different colored cleats and you

(01:53):
said, screw those things, I'mgonna go with something else, and it's
work out. Better for me.Yeah, I mean, I mean I've
probably been wearing gloves past year anda half. It was probably mid middle
of the year last year. Andthe cleat thing this year is probably just
very noticeable because a Neon green cleatsbecause it was Orbit's birthday and I had

(02:14):
cleat for him, and then itjust completely twitched the orange. I think
it was a lot more noticeable.But I mean there's little things like that.
You're like, I'll just go backto my other stuff because it was
working or out playing well when youknow, I was wearing it so and
then it just kind of happens outlike that. But yeah, I mean
you're you're a little superstitious when itcomes to stuff. Uh. I can't

(02:37):
believe you've ever uttered the phrase Orbit'sbirthday in a baseball conversation. So I
applaud you for that. What whatwell you do for? Like is al
two Way's birthday? Do something specialfor him too? I mean, and
why why are we getting all thisspecial treatment? I don't know. I
mean, they fly in the mascots, you know, the one one game

(02:58):
a year, and they do awhole thing and it's like a promotion out
the field and stuff. So Ijust I don't know. I just had
some cleats. I had some Brandleycleats before, and I was gonna wear
it opening Day and he was therethrowing up the first bitch and stuff,
but they didn't come in time,so I just held off on to it
until it was his birthday. SoI don't know. I guess I got
to do everyone's birthday now. KyleTucker with us here on Sports Talk seven

(03:21):
ninety and I'm just curious, Kyle, what do you think has been the
key to your season that you're havingand coming into the year. Was there
any sort of different philosophical thoughts aboutyour approach, For example, your walk
rate is up and stuff like that. I don't know. I mean I
just try and you know, controlthe zone best I can, trying barrel

(03:45):
pitches in certain areas of the strikezone that I'm looking at or looking for
pitches in. I mean, obviouslyyou don't want to chase, but you're
going to, you know, attimes it's just baseball. But I personally
like I've just been trying to getbetter at the controlling the strike zone because
when you're not chasing, you're hittingpitches over the middle part of the plate,

(04:05):
you're gonna walk more, you're probablygonna strike strike out last or your
barrel stuff more so. I mean, for me, I think, you
know, that's kind of the biggestthing. If you can control the strike
zone, swing at good pitches andlay up to other stuff, I think
all your numbers just across the boardcan go up. And I've just tried
to do that as best I can. Speaking of the strike zone, how'd
you like that one last night?It sucked? I can say it.

(04:30):
You don't have to say it.I'll say it sucked. Don't get them
fined, all right? I mean, I mean still got to hit the
ball. I mean, you're gonnayou're gonna swing it stuff at some point
throughout that bat. You gotta putit in play. So it is what
it is. You're being very politicallycorrecting for that. We applaud you.
We believe we don't will well,we'll take the fine. You don't take

(04:51):
any fines on that. Kyle Tuckerwith a couple minutes here on the show.
Kyle, Look, it's it's beena chase towards getting towards five hundred.
You guys have been playing better baseballas of eight but you're still not
where you want to be. Whatwould you attribute the first month to and
more importantly, what would you liketo see in the next couple of weeks.
Did you guys get back in thisrace, because honestly, with the
fact that Seattle and Texas aren't playinggreat either, it's a lot of a

(05:14):
lowed you guys to struggle a littlebit but still stay in this race right
now in the division. Yeah,I mean, you know, the first
month, month and a half first, so whatever it is, didn't you
know our start of the season wasn'tyou know, really what we wanted it
to be. Kind of just weren'tgetting runs. I mean, we were
getting guys on base, we justweren't getting as many of them in you

(05:38):
know, other teams were just findingholes and scoring runs and kind of just
worked out how it did? Youknow? We have good amount of injuries
to finishing staffs kind of been bangedup all year. But I mean,
you know, pretty much all theteams have, you know, injuries,
But you know, like like yousaid, we're only i think four four

(06:00):
and a half games back or soin third place, right behind the you
know Mariners who are playing right nowin the Rangers. So I mean we
got you know, one hundred andten games left or so, so there's
you know a lot of a lotof games left, a lot of time.
We just got to you know,start winning series, winning games and
getting on a roll here. Andwith those struggles that you guys have had,

(06:24):
there has been some shuffling of thelineup. Do you have any sort
of preference or what are the conversationslike, Obviously you've done very well in
the two hole. Yeah, Imean personally, I'm not I don't really
care that much. I mean,we have all of our guys have been
hitting, you know, pretty wellall year, getting on base and stuff.
So personally, I don't really mindwhere I'm going, uh when it

(06:48):
comes to the batting order, youknow, I think Joe does a pretty
good job of, uh putting guyswhere they are in the lineup and also
kind of just rotating between you know, the d H days and you know
certain guys off days and stuff likethat. So we just got to do
a better job at you know,scoring or putting up more runs and you

(07:11):
know, playing the better defense toyou know, not you know, let
the other team scores on your runs. Pa Pating stafs in a lot better
or less a couple of weeks monthsor so. So I mean, if
we just keep doing what we're doing, we'll grind together some wins and you
know, get it, get ona roll. Well leave it with that,
friend, enjoy your lunch. Thanksfor spending some time with us today.

(07:31):
Congratulation your success so far, andwe are rooting for your MVP candidates.
So you just let you know thatahead of time. And by the
way, you're smoke you know youdid something for Orbit for his birthday.
Minds. A week from tomorrow,you guys play a day game. I'd
like at least two baits hits,one of them being a home run from
you, and you give me thatbaseball when you're done. All right,
I would appreciate that day too.There you go, June fifth, write

(07:53):
it down. Saint Louis Cardinals.The Cardinals suck. You should be able
to at least get one home runoff of them. Well, we'll see,
we'll see, we'll see how Igot. I feel like no promises
whatsoever from you now. Thanks,Kyle, We'll see you later. Appreciate
the eybody, talk talk to yousoon. Thanks, all right, We'll
see you that's Kyle Tucker.
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