There haven't been many worse games in recent memory by a star player in such a key moment as that of Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus in Game 5 of the ALDS against the Toronto Blue Jays, which the Blue Jays ended up winning in the most dramatic, heartbreaking of fashions to end the Rangers' season.
Andrus, who was awful over the entire first half of the season both at the plate and in the field, was much better in both facets of the game over the second half and even into the postseason.
Then came that horrific Game 5 of the ALDS when Andrus laid down a poor bunt and was caught stealing at third base to end an inning and a Rangers threat and then had two errors in the three-error seventh inning, leading to Toronto coming back from a 3-2 deficit to win 6-3.
After the game, Andrus told reporters he pinned the loss on his shoulders and felt like he'd let his team down. While that was true to some extent, there was plenty of blame to go around the clubhouse.
Rangers skipper Jeff Banister addressed Andrus and his future in the team's end-of-season press conference last week.
“This is a guy who wants to play in every single game, every single inning," Banister said in the presser. "Elvis responded to every challenge that we presented to him. I feel confident that as an athlete, as a competitor, the things I know about Elvis Andrus that Elvis going to utilize that game as the power that drives him to be even more of an elite player. What I do know about elite competitors is they find a way and I know Elvis will."
You hope Banister is correct, but that awful seventh inning is the type of thing that can mess even a great player up for a long time.