Ryan Braun stays hot, lifts Crew to win

Tim Allen
September 16, 2019 - 10:30 pm

© Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

By Daniel Plocher

MILWAUKEE-- The Milwaukee Brewers are on some kind of run right now and even the most unlikely players are stepping up in this historic run for the franchise. 

Just three weeks ago the Brewers were sitting at 67-64 following a 12-2 loss to the now division-leading St. Louis Cardinals. Today, Milwaukee won their third straight, and their tenth out of their last eleven. With the win, they maintain just one spot behind the Cubs and Nationals for the NL Wild Card slot. 

Lots of fans and media members started to count the Brewers out when they were 67-64, and even more so after reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich went down with a broken kneecap last week. But, the Crew keep surprising everyone with this winning streak that they are on. Now 5-1 without Yelich, Milwaukee's playoff chances are as strong as ever even without the MVP.

But a former MVP is finding his stride late in the 2019 season. Ryan Braun who many people say need to step up in Yelich's absence has done just that in the past couple of games. Yesterday, he hit the go-ahead grand slam in the ninth inning when the Brewers were down to their final strike. It was his second game-winning homer since the Brewers' superstar outfielder went down with an injury.

Today, Brauny kept that momentum going and scored some key runs in the Brewers' win. Braun doubled in the second inning and later scored on an RBI-single from Cory Spangenberg to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead. 

The Brewers left fielder then got things cookin' in the fourth inning with a one-out single. A Thames double put two runners on for Spangenberg once again, who tripled to center field scoring both baserunners, and giving Milwaukee a 3-1 lead. 

Braun is proving to be the spark plug for this offense as he is playing his best baseball of the season in its most crucial moments. 

Spangenberg is one of two unlikely heroes in this game. He went 2-3, 3 RBI's in this game and helped carry the Brewers to yet another big win.

The Brewers' infielder touched on the next man up mentality of the team postgame saying, "It seems like someone new wins the game every night. I think that is just how this team goes, we have a bunch of grinders who want to be here and who want to win. It's a lot of fun."

The other hero of tonight's game was Travis Shaw who entered his pinch-hit at-bat tonight going 0-18 in his last nine games. He ended that streak in a big way by adding another insurance run to the Brewers total with a solo-shot in the fifth inning:

Shaw talked about the relief he had hitting the homer postgame: "I needed a result. I haven't stopped working this whole season and I think it has been well documented that this season has been quite the grind, but I try to stay positive and it felt good to see something positive finally happen."

The bullpen continues to be on a bit of a streak of their own helping propel this team in the NL Wild Card standing. Freddy Peralta struck out four batters in two no-hit innings of baseball. Alex Claudio came in for the eighth and retired three straight batters. Then, Jay Jackson closed the door in the ninth including a strikeout of the fans' least favorite hitter- Padres' 3B Manny Machado- who was booed relentlessly every time he stepped up to the plate. Machado finished 1-4 with 2 K's in the game tonight.

The Brewers would win this one 5-1 to open the final homestand of the season.

Milwaukee moves to 81-69 on the year with the win which keeps them hot with not much baseball left to play. We will see if their late push with the help of Ryan Braun and some more unlikely heroes will be good enough to squeeze the Crew into the postseason. Zach Davies wrapped things up really nicely after the win tonight saying, "We know what is in front of us and we know what we have to do to get there. So we know what we have to do day in and day out. Whatever the standings say at the end of the year, you can't really change that besides how you play."

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