This simple wooden stool is the only thing that can stop the Astros offense
The lesson of every superhero movie is that every hero and every villain has a weakness. Regardless of how strong and invincible they may seem, there's some flaw that can take them down. Superman is invincible -- that is, until he encounters Kryptonite. Those potentially fatal flaws are what make it possible to relate to the heroes and defeat the villains.
This season, the Astros have appeared invincible. They have three aces in their rotation in Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke. Their offense might be even more terrifying with every spot in the batting order representing a threat. It's no fluke that they ended the season with the best record in baseball.
Game 1 of the ALDS against the Rays was a perfect example of the relentlessness of the Astros bats. The Rays held the Astros scoreless for four innings, but it always felt like they were on the cusp of scoring. And score they did. When all was said and done, they had hung six runs on a starter and bullpen that befuddled hitters all season.
It appeared to be the same story for Saturday's Game 2. Blake Snell -- last year's Cy Young Award winner -- dominated for three innings. Then, Alex Bregman opened the fourth with a leadoff home run. It felt like the floodgates had opened. You can tell Bregman thought so, too.
Orange Crush. pic.twitter.com/8aQM4MEKTi— MLB (@MLB) October 6, 2019
In the fifth inning, it looked like it was going to happen. There would be another outpouring of runs. Outfielder Kyle Tucker led off with a walk. Catcher Martin Maldonado came up and pulled a ball down the left field line. It was all set up for an RBI double to start a monster inning.
Enter: The Stool.
Thanks to the stool's intervention, Tucker stopped at third and Maldonado was held to a single. A strikeout and a double play later, the Astros had zero runs to show for their work.
The Astros offense is going to score a lot of runs. They showed it on Friday and you could feel it nearly every inning Saturday.
But, for one inning, in one game, a puny wooden stool sat in the path of destruction that is the Astros' offense and emerged the victor. That simple stool proved that the Astros can be defeated. The problem is that it may take an army of furniture to do it.
Eric Chesterton is a writer for MLB.com. He is an appreciator of the stolen base, the bunt against the shift and nearly every unconventional uniform design. He eagerly awaits Jamie Moyer's inevitable comeback.