Braun making Brewers postseason history

Ryan Braun turned the National League Division Series into his personal sandlot, and it appears he plans to do the same now that the Brewers’ postseason run has reached the next level.

Braun had two more hits and four more RBIs for a Brewers postseason record in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series on Sunday, a 9-6 Brewers win. It made him the early — very, very early — frontrunner for series MVP honors, but that was probably not the award that fans had in mind then they chanted “MVP! MVP!” during each of Braun’s plate appearances.

“There’s obviously much more at stake,” Braun said. “We realize the significance of the games we’re playing. We recognize that we are now three games away from the World Series.”

Braun has multiple hits and has scored multiple runs in four of the Brewers’ first six 2011 postseason games, including Sunday’s NLCS Game 1. His two-run home run erased an early 1-0 Cardinals lead in the first inning, and his two-run, ground-rule double pulled the Brewers back to within a run in the decisive fifth.

Braun broke the club record for RBIs in a postseason game he had tied in Game 2 of the NLDS against Arizona, when he drove in three runs. The only other Brewers with a three-RBI game in the playoffs were catcher Ted Simmons in Game 3 of the 1981 ALDS against the Yankees 30 years ago Sunday, on Oct. 9, 1981, and by Mark Brouhard in Game 4 of the 1982 ALCS against the Angels. Wouldn’t you know it? That was 29 years ago Sunday, on Oct. 9, 1982.

Braun has hit safely in five of the Brewers’ six postseason games this October, batting .500 (11-for-22) with five doubles, two home runs, eight RBIs and seven runs scored. Overall in his career he has hit safely in eight of his 10 postseason games, batting .421 (16-for-38) with seven doubles, two homers, 10 RBIs and seven runs scored.

His two hits in Game 1 game Braun 16 hits in his postseason career, passing Cecil Cooper (15) for the fourth-most in Brewers history. Braun trails only Paul Molitor (22 hits), Robin Yount (22 hits) and Charlie Moore (17 hits).

With 10 RBIs in his postseason career, Braun passed both Ted Simmons (eight) and Paul Molitor (nine) for sole possession of the second-most RBIs in Brewers postseason history. Braun trails only Cecil Cooper, who drove in 13 postseason runs in 1981-82.

“I try not to get overly excited; it’s only been six games to this point,” Braun said. “But I feel like I’ve had pretty good at-bats, consistent at-bats, and we’re winning.”

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