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7 Players Who Choked Big Time so Far in the MLB Playoffs

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 09: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers runs to first on an error in the third inning of game five of the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals at Dodger Stadium on October 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The 2019 MLB playoffs have already created their fair share of heroes. Look no further than Juan Soto, Howie Kendrick, and Gerrit Cole, who have etched in stone a permanent place in the history of their respective franchises.

These seven players will also be remembered in the decades to come, albeit for the wrong reasons, as they were complete flops in the postseason.

7. Trent Grisham

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 01: Trent Grisham #2 of the Milwaukee Brewers takes batting practice prior to the National League Wild Card game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 01, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Wild Card Round - Milwaukee Brewers v Washington Nationals | Will Newton/Getty Images

Sorry to re-open an old wound and pour a nice, heavy dosage of salt on it, Brewers fans, but Grisham has to be on this list. The Brewers might have been the ones squaring off against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS were it not for Grisham's monumental blunder in right field that brought home a few Nationals runs and ultimately handed them the contest late in the Wild Card Game. He may have to endure his time on Brewers Twitter's breaking wheel, but there are better days ahead for Grisham, a stud prospect with a great bat.

6. Max Kepler

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 31:  Max Kepler #26 of the Minnesota Twins runs the bases during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on August 31, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Twins 10-7.  (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Minnesota Twins v Detroit Tigers | Mark Cunningham/Getty Images

The much-hyped "Bomba Squad" was totally defused in the ALDS, as the Twins could barely muster much of a fight against the Yankees. Part of the blame should fall on Kepler. While the likes of Nelson Cruz and Eddie Rosario struggled, at least they provided some production. Kepler, meanwhile, failed to record a hit in 13 trips to the place, getting on base just three times in the series. For a guy who hit 36 home runs in the regular season and drove in 90 runs, this was a shocking no-show.

5. Austin Meadows

ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 08:  Austin Meadows #17 of the Tampa Bay Rays at bat against the Houston Astros during the second inning in game four of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 08, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Divisional Series - Houston Astros v Tampa Bay Rays - Game Four | Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

On a team full of rejects, mercenaries, and scrappy underdogs, Meadows is the closest thing the Tampa Bay Rays have to an offensive superstar, as the All-Star outfielder hit .291 with 33 home runs and 89 RBI in the regular season. In the playoffs, however, Meadows shrank, going a paltry 3-for-23 while striking out 10 times in a five-gamer. He failed to record a hit in Games 4 and 5 as the Rays ultimately succumbed to the Houston Astros, and raised questions about this team's viability with him as the offensive centerpiece.

4. Tyler Glasnow

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 10:  Tyler Glasnow #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays delivers the pitch against the Houston Astros during the second inning in game five of the American League Division Series at Minute Maid Park on October 10, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Divisional Series - Tampa Bay Rays v Houston Astros - Game Five | Tim Warner/Getty Images

The second prized piece of the Chris Archer heist didn't exactly kill it in the playoffs, either. While Glasnow pitched a solid Game 1, with his only mistake coming on a home run by Jose Altuve, his Game 5 performance was objectively terrible. Glasnow, who admitted that it was clear he was tipping pitches, gave up four first inning runs and didn't even make it out of the third. Tampa clearly has something worth nurturing in the young right-hander, but last night was nothing short of a choke job under the bright lights.

3. Freddie Freeman

ST LOUIS, MISSOURI - OCTOBER 06:   Freddie Freeman #5 of the Atlanta Braves awaits the pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning in game three of the National League Division Series at Busch Stadium on October 06, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Divisional Series - Atlanta Braves v St Louis Cardinals - Game Three | Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Freeman, be it with his bat or with his glove, was the engine that drove the 2019 Atlanta Braves. However, the moment the leaves starting changing color, it looked like Freeman simply forgot how to play baseball. Freeman didn't record a hit in Games 2-4 of the NLDS series against the St. Louis Cardinals. In the blowout that was Game 5, even Freeman's usually standout glovework managed to evaporate, as a defensive blunder of his helped spark the Cardinals, ending the game before it began in their 10-run first inning. Sure, Freeman was playing somewhat compromised due to bone spurs, but...come on.

2. Cody Bellinger

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 07: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers at bat against the Washington Nationals in Game Four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Divisional Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Washington Nationals - Game Four | Will Newton/Getty Images

To paraphrase Killmonger, "Is this your MVP?" Bellinger didn't record an RBI in the 2019 NLDS. Hitting cleanup for one of the best offensive units in baseball, he wasn't exactly bereft of opportunities. We need to start talking about "Playoff Bellinger", as he is a career .178 hitter in the postseason, with the 2017 NLCS standing alone as the only series in which he has hit greater than .214. The Dodgers needed their superstar to come through for them. Plain and simple, he didn't.

1. Clayton Kershaw

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 09:  Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts as he leaves the game after giving up back to back home runs in the eighth inning of game five of the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals at Dodger Stadium on October 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Divisional Series - Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Five | Harry How/Getty Images

Kershaw is a Hall of Famer and the most dominant pitcher of the decade, but he is no closer to exorcising his postseason demons after this latest go 'round. It was Kershaw, brought into Game 5 of the NLDS against the Nationals as a relief pitcher, who surrendered back-to-back home runs that allowed the Nats to tie the game and eventually win it in extra innings. Kershaw's playoff blunders have now gotten so bad that a team that won 106 games fell at home to a Wild Card team under his watch. This loss was not only rough to watch, but it could be legacy-altering for Kershaw.