Results tagged ‘ Ryan Braun ’

Braun back for doubleheader

Ryan Braun, a late scratch Tuesday because of a stomach virus, is back in action for Game 1 of a doubleheader on Wednesday. The first pitch of the opener is scheduled for 3:10 p.m. CT, with the second game to follow soon thereafter. Both games will air on FS Wisconsin, with full pre- and postgame coverage.
Rickie Weeks  2B
Corey Hart  RF
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  3B
Lorenzo Cain  CF
Jonathan Lucroy C
Luis Cruz  SS
Yovani Gallardo  RHP
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Braun out of Brewers lineup

Left fielder Ryan Braun is not in the lineup for the opener of a four-game series of the Marlins that will mark the end of Milwaukee’s home season. Braun was struck near the left elbow with a pitch in Wednesday’s rout of the Reds, a plunking that conjured memories of the Tommy Hanson pitch that hit Braun’s elbow in May and sapped the All-Star’s power. 

With Braun out and the Brewers facing the non-contending Marlins, manager Ken Macha got creative with his lineup. Rickie Weeks is making his third start in the three-hole (the Brewers have lost the other two), Lorenzo Cain is making his second start as the leadoff man (0-1) and Mat Gamel will play his first career innings in the outfield. He’s replacing Braun in left field. 
Here’s the full lineup:

Lorenzo Cain  CF

Corey Hart  RF
Rickie Weeks  2B
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  3B
Mat Gamel  LF
Jonathan Lucroy  C
Luis Cruz  SS
Yovani Gallardo  RHP
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Brewers officially eliminated

The Brewers were never really in the National League Central race this season, a first for Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun and the rest of the club’s relatively young core. But it still stung on Sunday, when they were officially out of it. 
Jose Guillen belted a first-inning grand slam and finished with six RBIs to help the Giants avoid a three-game sweep with a 9-2 thumping of the Brewers, putting San Francisco back in first place in the competitive National League West and formally eliminating Milwaukee from the Central. 
“I don’t think there’s been any point at all in the second half where we’ve been excited about where we’re at in the standings or we’ve really felt we had a realistic chance of winning our division,” said left fielder Ryan Braun, who provided two highlights, one in the field and one at the plate. 
“Obviously that’s disappointing,” Braun said. “It’s different for all of us, because each of the last three years we’ve been fortunate to be in it for the majority of the year. In ’07, it went down to the final week. In ’08, we went to the postseason. And last year we finished the season strong. 
“It’s a different experience. It’s hard to have adrenaline or intensity unless you’re playing against a team like [the Giants] … trying to get to the postseason. For most of us, I don’t think we’ve ever been on a bad team. It’s a different experience. Definitely not fun.”
Braun did have some fun on Sunday, robbing Giants center fielder Cody Ross of a home run in the first inning and then hitting a two-run homer, Braun’s 23rd this season, in the sixth. 
But Braun’s effort was not enough for the Brewers to avoid falling back to 10 games under .500 at 69-79. They are 13 games behind the first-place Reds in the loss column, and Cincinnati has only 12 games to play. 
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No shortage of praise for Hoffman in clubhouse

Following last night’s thriller, which featured career save No. 600 for Trevor Hoffman, we had a sidebar on his Brewers teammates’ reactions to the moment.
While that story captured the emotions and feelings in the clubhouse, there was far too much to fit in after the game. With a guy like Hoffman who’s frequently described as the “best teammate,” there was hardly of lack of things to say in the home clubhouse.
Braun: “Like we were going to the playoffs”
According to left fielder Ryan Braun, the emotion following the final out of the game was far greater than the meaningless early September game that it starter out as.
“It felt like we were going to the playoffs,” he said. “It was exciting. I think it was exciting for all of us to have something to celebrate, for all of us to have been a part of something so special. That’s something that we might not ever see again. Who knows if anybody else ever gets to 600 saves.”
Coffey: “I was 100 percent spectator”
Perhaps most excited about the achievement — more so even than Hoffman himself — were Hoffman’s bullpen mates.
Reliever Todd Coffey described his feelings as “beyond goosebumps” as he become more of a spectator than a teammate. After that, he went on for a few minutes about the emotions he felt both when Hoffman entered the game and recorded his 600th save.
“As soon as he walked out of the bullpen, the entire bullpen was up and I think we were all clapping louder than the fans, we were hollering louder than the fans,” Coffey said. “I don’t think any of us actually realized we were in the bullpen. We were all out there with Hoffy.
“We were hanging over, we even thought about, ‘let’s just jump the wall and go. Then we thought, ‘we better not jump the wall.’
“I think me, Zach [Braddock] and Kam[eron Loe] all hit the pile at the same time. I think I felt the whole pile moving when we hit it. It’s an experience that I’ll never forget. He’s always there for every one of us. For us to be there for him, it’s amazing. He cares less about himself and more about his teammates than anything else.”
Davis: “Just incredible”
Others had less to say, but their thoughts were no less insightful.
Veteran left-handed starter Doug Davis recalled being part of a similar moment early in his career.
“Definitely the most exciting thing I’ve ever been a part of,” Davis said. “My first win was John Wetteland’s 300th save. I thought that was impressive, but this, twice as many saves, it’s just incredible.”
Bush: “An amazing number”
Another Brewers starter, right-hander Dave Bush, took particular notice of the number of people in the dugout during that final inning, as everyone wanted the best view they could get of Hoffman’s historic save.
“It’s an amazing number, one that nobody’s ever gotten to before,” Bush said. “I can’t even fathom at all what it takes to reach that.
“It was exciting. Probably the most people I’ve ever seen in the dugout in the ninth inning. Everybody was coming down here because they wanted to be as close to it as they could. As a player, moments like that are few and far between. To be his teammate and to be around for something like is just awesome.”
Lucroy: “I’m totally lucky and blessed”
After beginning the season at Double-A Huntsville, catcher Jonathan Lucroy called the game Tuesday night, including Hoffman’s thrilling ninth.
As he waited on the mound for the all-time saves leader, with “Hell’s Bells” blaring from the stadium speakers, Lucroy said he had goosebumps and began to shake from the nerves.
He stayed relaxed behind the plate, though, and didn’t change a thing. Until the final out as he ran down toward first base.
“It’s something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life and cherish,” Lucroy said. “To be able to remember something like that, it’s a blessing for me to even be able to experience it.
“To see him achieve a goal like that is just something that every baseball player lives for. It couldn’t have happened to a better guy. He totally deserves it. It’s an honor for me to even be here and just experience it.
“I was jacked up and excited. I told myself I was going to sacrifice my life to get an out for him if I needed to. I was going to go everything I could to get an out, no matter what I had to do, I was going to sacrifice everything for him.
“For somebody like that, to put in the kind of work he has, to play for as long as he has, and have the kind of character that he has, and for something like that to happen to him, and for me to even be there and be a part of it, it’s an unbelievable feeling.
“I was the first one [to the mound]. Usually I run down to first base and back up on ground balls, but I cut it off halfway. I was going to go get there first as fast as I could. I grabbed him and he grabbed me in a headlock and then everybody else hit and we went at it.
“It’s not very often you see grown men crying out there and there were grown men crying on the field. It was very emotional, I was trying to hold back as best I could. It’s just the payoff for so much hard work and just shows you that if you work hard and be a good person in this game there’s a lot of good things that happen to you.
“I’m totally lucky and blessed to even be here. To experience that, I don’t even deserve that. I don’t even deserve to be on the same field as that guy.”
Axford: “My heart was racing the entire time”
Of course, no story about Hoffman’s historic accomplishment would be complete without some mention of his replacement, rookie John Axford.
As has been the case all season, Axford had nothing but positive things to say about his mentor in the Brewers bullpen.
“He’s meant everything to my development because he carries about his business perfectly. He does everything right,” Axford said. “That’s been the best mentor for me. I just try to watch him and see what he does and see how I can build upon that. Every time I go out there I just try and do right by Trevor. I just want to do basically what Trevor would do and do things the right way.
“My heart was racing the entire time once the ‘Hell’s Bells’ started. My heart was going and it didn’t stop the entire time until we’re actually here right now and I’m still talking a mile a minute. I still feel the emotion and the rush from it. I think it was absolutely unbelievable.”
“It’s a cool kind of turn around. At the beginning of the year, I got my first save and Hoffy went in and got a hold for me. Now I got to go in and save that game for him, which is probably going to be the best hold of my entire life right there. I’m definitely glad I was in that game for sure.”
McGehee: “The ultimate professional”
Third baseman Casey McGehee admitted he was nervous when Hoffman entered the game. In fact, he was just hoping the ball wasn’t hit to him.
Once the final out had been recorded, however, McGehee was thrilled to be a part of such a big moment and to have played with someone who is the all-time leader
in any category.
“I think the reaction of all the guys kind of let everybody see how important to this team and to us he is,” McGehee said. “You couldn’t have asked for it to happen to a better guy. He’s the ultimate professional with everything he does.
“There’s not too many people you played with that you can say you played with the all-time best anything. When my career is over and I’m sitting around telling stories at a bar somewhere, that’s going to be one of the ones I tell.
“You can’t block that out, we all knew what was going on. Most of us, we’re huge fans of the game. Coming up, we remember watching Trevor Hoffman when he was in his prime and he was virtually unhittable. To be any small part of it, it’s pretty special.
“Some of these guys that got called up today, first day in the big leagues, not a bad way to start your big league career.”
Fielder: “Happy to be a part of it”
The final out was recorded by Prince Fielder, as veteran shortstop Craig Counsell fielded a ground ball and fired to Fielder at first.
As Fielder closed his first-baseman’s mitt on the ball, he joined McGehee and Lucroy as the first three players to embrace Hoffman on the mound.
“It was awesome,” Fielder said. “Coming into this year, you knew he was close to getting it. Everything he had to go through to get to it and he finally got it, I’m really happy for him. It’s really awesome.
“It [ranks] up there just because it’s your teammate and it’s a really special moment and something that nobody else has ever done. That’s what makes it even more special and I’m just really happy to be a part of it.
Narveson: “Pretty amazing”
But none of it would have been possible had it not been for an impressive seven-inning performance by lefty starter Chris Narveson. 
His brilliance on the mound was lost in the shuffle, but everything was set up by one of Narveson’s best starts of the 2010 season.
“That was pretty amazing,” Narveson said. “To be able to witness it and be the guy that started that game, was pretty special.”
— Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter

New fix for Miller Park shadows: Move the roof

shadow.jpgPhoto courtesy Bob Brainerd/FS Wisconsin
After getting approval from the stadium operations staff and the umpiring crew, the Brewers tried a new fix for the notoriously tough daytime shadows at Miller Park on Sunday by manipulating part of the ballpark’s fan-shaped retractable roof. 
General manager Doug Melvin said it was manager Ken Macha’s idea. Usually, the roof panels stack on top of each other above each of the foul lines, two movable panels in left field and three in right, creating a line of sunlight and shadow that creeps across the infield early in afternoon games. The effect is particularly tough, hitters say, when the pitcher’s mound is bathed in sunlight and the batter’s box is in the shade.
On Sunday, two of the right-field panels were left hanging over right field instead of being tucked in their usually, full-open position. That meant both pitcher and hitter were in the shadows from the first pitch. 
“This has to be an ongoing experiment,” assistant general manager Gord Ash said, “because the position of the sun is different at different times of the year.”
Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder are the two most prominent critics of the hitting conditions during the day at Miller Park. They have suggested simply closing the roof for day games, but that is not considered a good option, partly because Miller Park is heated, but not air-conditioned, and partly because part of the fan experience is enjoying the game on a beautiful, sunny day. 
The Brewers were interested in a third-party opinion of the shadows issue so they contacted Mike Port, Major League Baseball’s vice president of umpiring. Port who surveyed the umps and found that they, too, have particular trouble seeing the baseball on sunny days in Milwaukee.
“This is a real issue,” Ash said.  
The Brewers are moving two day games to the night in 2011, Ash said — one Saturday in April and another weekday during the summer. But they cannot — and do not wish to — completely eliminate daytime baseball, so club officials have tried taking other steps. 
Last offseason, the Brewers removed ivy beyond the center field wall that created glare, and re-painted the hitting background with dark, glare-resistant paint. 
One big problem remains, and the Brewers are not sure there is a fix for the large banks of windows above the grandstands that allow light in during the late afternoon and early evening. Players have suggested tinting the windows, but that would block the light necessary for grass to grow on the field. The Brewers have looked into a massive system of blinds, but it would require a seven-figure investment. 
That’s cost-prohibitive, officials say, at least for now. So manipulating the roof to cover the early innings was the next best option. 
Major League Baseball has rules governing the operation of retractable domes, but they mostly cover the timing of such moves and not the positioning of panels. When Ash was GM in Toronto, for example, the Blue Jays would manipulate a certain roof panel to provide shade for fans in the stands. But it didn’t affect the way sunlight hit the field, he said. 
“You can’t, for example, open the roof while [the opponent] is hitting and then move it like this when we’re up,” Ash said. “Wherever you set it, it has to stay there.”
To make sure, the Brewers consulted with umpire Mike Reilly, the crew chief working the Brewers-Pirates series this weekend. 
Neither team had trouble hitting in the first inning on Sunday. Pirates rookie Neil Walker connected against Brewers starter Dave Bush for a two-run home run in the top of the inning, and the Brewers scored three runs on three hits against Charlie Morton in the bottom half. 
Braun finished 4-for-4 with his 19th home run, and reached safely all five times up. But he declined to talk to reporters after the Brewers’ 8-4 win. 
What did Dave Bush and the rest of the Brewers’ pitchers think?
“I’m smart enough to know it’s not a pitching game any more,” Bush said. “It’s an offensive game between the ballparks and baseballs and everything else. Everything is geared toward hitters right now. In that regard, I’m not surprised. 
“But it’s just part of the game, and when I’m out on the mound I’m worried about what I’m doing, the pitch I’m trying to throw. If we score eight every time with the roof half-closed, I’ll be all right with that.”
Macha deflected questions to the players, especially one about whether there are times a manager tries psychological ploys to draw out performance. 
“Me? Psychological things? Those are all questions for them,” Macha said. “I come to the ballpark and my focus is there. I’m ready to go.”
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Braun expected back Thursday

After missing three starts with a strained left wrist, Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun is expected back in the lineup Thursday, when the Brewers try to avoid a four-game D-backs sweep at Miller Park.
Braun was back in the batting practice rotation on Wednesday afternoon, a good sign he was making progress from an injury suffered Sunday against the Astros.  An even better indication of his improving health came in the eighth inning, when Braun was sent up to pinch-hit with the bases loaded, though he struck out
“He’s going to play [Thursday],” Macha said. “After he took batting practice, he came up to me and said, ‘I’ll be ready to go tomorrow.'”
Braun was hurt on Sunday when he legged out an infield hit and his left arm clipped Astros rookie first baseman Brett Wallace. He sat out Monday, pinch-ran Tuesday and then made his seventh career pinch-hit appearance on Wednesday. 
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Hart back, Fielder plays 300th straight

Ryan Braun remains sidelined with a strained left wrist, but fellow All-Star right fielder Corey Hart is back in the Brewers lineup Wednesday after sitting out two games with a stiff lower back. 

The Brewers need to win the final two games of this four-game series to avoid their first series loss to the D-backs since July 14-16, 2006, when they dropped two of three at Chase Field. The Brewers haven’t lost a home series to Arizona since Sept. 19-21, 2003, when they also dropped two of three.
Oh, and Prince Fielder is playing in his 300th consecutive game tonight. Considering all of the  hit by pitches and the myriad of ways we’ve seen other players banged up, it’s an impressive streak of durability.
Rickie Weeks  2B
Lorenzo Cain  LF
Corey Hart  RF
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  3B
Chris Dickerson  CF
Alcides Escobar  SS
Jonathan Lucroy  C
Dave Bush  RHP
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Dickerson tipped to trade by buddy Braun

The Brewers swapped outfielders with the Reds on Monday, acquiring Chris Dickerson from the Reds for Jim Edmonds. Dickerson had a spy in the Brewers clubhouse who tipped him off to the deal two days ago. 

That would be All-Star left fielder Ryan Braun, a fellow Los Angeles native who is a few years younger than Dickerson, 28, but has long shared a circle of friends. Braun sent a text message over the weekend when he heard the Brewers were close to dealing Edmonds. 
“He kind of tipped me to what was going to happen,” Dickerson said. “Sure enough, he was right.”
Dickerson was the Reds’ 16th round Draft pick in 2003. Now he’s starting fresh.
“It’s strange,” Dickerson said. “It’s a weird feeling for anybody, especially the first time. Even talking to the GM today, he expressed that. I was drafted by the Reds and came up through their system, and it’s tough to [sever] the relationships that you have. It’s going to be different. I’ve been playing with [Joey] Votto for seven years. It’s a part of the game, but it doesn’t make it any easier. 
“But the positive thing is that it’s a chance to start over and get an opportunity to play now that I’m healthy. I had success in my rehab stint and I’m ready to go.”
Dickerson hit the ground running in his Minor League rehabilitation assignment after spending his downtime looking at video of the game’s great hitters. He’s a left-handed hitter, so the list included Adrian Gonzalez of the Padres and Chase Utley of the Phillies, but it also included a right-handed hitter: Braun. 
“He does so many things really well,” Dickerson said. “I looked at a lot of the game’s great hitters and compared my swing to theirs, and I took that down to Louisville with me and it worked out really well. My first game back went well and I think that gave me a lot of confidence. Then when I knew I was healthy, it snowballed from there.”
Dickerson, a natural center fielder who can play all three outfield positions, has not played since Tuesday because of a death in the family.  
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Braun is NL player of the week

Ryan Braun earned a new watch on Monday. Here are the details from Major League Baseball:

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun has been named Bank of America Presents the National League Player of the Week for the period of August 2-8, 2010. Bank of America, the Official Bank of Major League Baseball, is the presenting sponsor of the National League and American League Player of the Week Awards, which reflect Bank of America’s long-standing tradition of promoting and recognizing higher standards of accomplishment.
Braun led the Majors with a .538 (14-for-26) batting average and a .586 on-base percentage in six games last week. His 14 hits also led the big leagues while his eight runs scored were tied for first. Braun added four RBI and three walks while slugging .538 on the week. The 2007 N.L. Rookie of the Year hit safely in each of his six games, including four multi-hit performances. On Monday, August 2nd, Braun tied a career-best with five hits (previously, April 21, 2009 at Philadelphia) in an 18-1 win over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Braun and Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder, who also had five hits in the game, became the third pair of teammates in franchise history to each record five hits in one game (Paul Molitor and Darryl Hamilton each had five hits on July 28, 1991 at Minnesota and Kevin Seitzer and Scott Fletcher both had five hits on August 28, 1992 at Toronto). 
The California native went 2-for-4 with two RBI and three runs scored in an 11-6 win on Sunday against Houston, extending his hitting streak to eight games (dating back to July 31st). This is Braun’s second-career weekly award. He won previously for the week of May 5-11, 2009.
Other nominees this past week included Ryan’s teammates Prince Fielder (.423, 11 RBI, 11 H), Casey McGehee (.318, 2 HR, 11 RBI) and Yovani Gallardo (2-0, 3.75 ERA, 12.0 IP, 19 SO); Pittsburgh’s Pedro Alvarez (.348, 3 HR, 9 RBI, .739 SLG); Washington’s Adam Dunn (.250, 5 HR, 11 RBI, .786 SLG), Ryan Zimmerman (.308, 4 HR, 7 R) and Livan Hernandez (1-0, 1.26 ERA, 14.1 IP); Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez (.423, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 7 R); Atlanta’s Chipper Jones (.391, 3 HR, .870 SLG) and Tim Hudson (2-0, 0.64 ERA, 14.0 IP); Albert Pujols (.522, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 1.000 SLG) of the Cardinals; Philadelphia’s Carlos Ruiz (.417, 2 HR, 7 RBI) and Roy Halladay (2-0, 3.86 ERA, 14.0 IP, 19 SO); Ted Lilly (2-0, 2.77 ERA, 11 SO, 13.0 IP) and Vicente Padilla (1-0, 0.00 ERA, CG, SHO) of the Dodgers; and Cincinnati’s Travis Wood (2-0, 2.03 ERA, 13.1 IP).
The Bank of America Presents the National League Player of the Week, Ryan Braun, is awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at

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Braun, Fielder switch back

As the Brewers open a three-game series Monday with the Cubs at Wrigley Field, manager Ken Macha’s lineup features no surprises.

Veteran Jim Edmonds is in center field against Cubs right-handed starter Randy Wells, and Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder have switched back to their usual spots.
At the bottom of the lineup, Macha placed shortstop Alcides Escobar seventh ahead of catcher Jonathan Lucroy batting eighth in a reversal of their typical order.
Weeks  2B
Hart  RF
Braun  LF
Fielder  1B
McGehee  3B
Edmonds  CF
Escobar  SS
Lucroy  C
Gallardo  P
— Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter