Braun, Ramirez talk Brewers funk
Ryan Braun isn’t hitting, but he’s not the only one. After Friday’s 4-3 loss to the Rockies, leadoff man Rickie Weeks is batting .185, regular two-hole hitter Nyjer Morgan .135, Braun .245 and Aramis Ramirez .160.
The guy with the best average in that group is causing the most consternation. That’s life these days for Braun, the reigning National League MVP trying to bounce back from a tumultuous winter. He was off to a solid start but had gone ice cold since the Brewers returned to Miller Park, hitless in 14 at-bats on the homestand with eight strikeouts.
Braun whiffed in each of his three official at-bats Friday. He was also hit by a pitch and scored the tying run.
“This stretch, he’s getting out of the zone with his swings,” manager Ron Roenicke said. “When he’s good, he doesn’t chase that much. He’s chasing, he’s jumping a little bit. We need to get him healthy, too.”
Braun is among a slew of Brewers regulars struck by a clubhouse virus in recent days. But he brushed aside the notion that a day off might do him some good.
The issue, Braun argued, is that everybody is trying to be the one to break the Brewers out of the early-season funk.
“The good news is that we’re all kind of struggling at the same time,” he said, “So, hopefully, we all start to swing the bats well at the same time, too. There’s no doubt, that when a team, collectively, isn’t swinging the bats well, everybody tries to pick each other up and it just furthers the issue. We know we’ll be all right. There’s long track records here.”
Of his illness, Braun said, “Whether you’re sick, hurt, none of that factors in. If you’re playing, you’re expected to contribute. We’re really not playing good baseball, and we’ve had a chance to win every game that we’ve lost recently. Hopefully that’s a good sign moving forward.”
Ramirez spoke with more urgency:
“From the top of the order down, including myself, we have to get better,” said new Brewers cleanup man. “I don’t have to mention any names. Everybody knows who they are. It’s time right now, we have to get better. It’s not early anymore.
“You don’t want to get behind. St. Louis is winning every single day. You don’t want to play a catch-up game with them.”
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