At least Braun was in the bottom of the eighth on Friday night. With the Brewers trailing the hated Cubs 2-1, the Milwaukee left-fielder came to the plate against CHI reliever Aaron Heilman . He could have just come up there hacking and slashing, which is what the Brewers are known for. But instead, Braun took a more mature approach, as noted in the coverage of the story by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Braun, who was so disgusted after striking out in the fifth inning that he slammed his bat to the ground, knew Heilman couldn’t afford another ball. Using a right-field approach, Braun slammed a 93-mph fastball out to right-center with room to spare for his seventh homer of the year.

“In that situation, it dictated staying inside of the ball, runner on second, nobody out,” said Braun. “I figured worst-case, I’d get the runner over to third base with less than two outs.

“I was assuming he was trying to come inside, get me to roll over on it. I’m thinking he probably missed his spot a little bit.”

The result was a two-run homer to right, providing the winning margin.

It is music to my ears to hear that Braun is doing more than going up there and just trying to rip it somewhere. The guy is thinking about the situation, he knows the pitcher is in a tough spot, he has a plan to at least move the runner because he knows that is what is required at this particular moment in the game. Wonderful maturity on Braun’s part. Sure, the clutch homer was magic, but I am just as excited about his approach.

 

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  • Jon

    Braun is a great hitter…no question. He also needs to tone down the hot-dogging or he will be a target for the rest of the year. After hitting a home run, please just run around the bases and get back to the dugout where you can celebrate all you want. Act like it is something you do all the time…and it is something he does often. He hasn’t become AJ Pierzinski yet, but he is becoming an unpopular player in other ballparks and not because he is a good hitter.

    • Chris

      I think his post HR routine is one of his flaws–way too much looking in the dugout and fist pumping. But his act last night was more understandable to me: On the previous AB, Braun had his tower buzzed by Dempster. Perhaps the jack by itself should have been enough of a demonstration by Braun, but I know what it is like to get pitched up and in like that — it tends to piss a guy off. So his reaction, which read to me as one of satisfaction, played better than his too-often-normal antics.