Are slumps a real thing? Astros shortstop Jeremy Peña doesn’t think so. According to him, you’re only as good as your next at-bat, so why dwell on a lack of hits in previous games? This mentality has helped Peña bounce back from tough times at the plate and win awards such as the American League Championship Series Most Valuable Player and World Series MVP.
Peña’s recent hitting drought came to an end in Wednesday’s 8-2 win over the Tigers at Minute Maid Park. Despite being hitless in his previous 19 at-bats, Peña grounded out in the fifth inning and promptly responded with a double and a home run in his final two at-bats. He made this crucial adjustment last year when he ditched his front-leg kick prior to a game against the Angels and saw immediate results.
Astros manager Dusty Baker attributes Peña’s slump-busting performance to how hard he has been hitting the ball. He added that the whole team looked better and had a good offensive day. Despite prolonged slumps by Alex Bregman earlier in the week and Peña, and injuries to Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley, the team is averaging 4.9 runs per game through seven games in 2023. That’s higher than the 4.5 they averaged last regular season when they won 106 games.
Peña believes the world baseball classic helped him to find his groove and get into game mode. With a total of three homers hit by the Astros, the team looks to build on this progress for the rest of the season. This slump-busting performance by Peña proves that he keeps showing up every day and making adjustments in his approach to the game. The team’s great lineup is capable of achieving the best possible outcomes.