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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.