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Braun reflects on reaching 1K runs scored

Among active players, veteran stands alone in scoring them for one franchise
@AdamMcCalvy
April 7, 2019

MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Braun had former teammates like Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, J.J. Hardy and Rickie Weeks on his mind Sunday morning as he reflected upon reaching another career milestone. When Braun touched home plate after a three-run home run in Saturday’s loss to the Cubs, he scored his 1,000th

MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Braun had former teammates like Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, J.J. Hardy and Rickie Weeks on his mind Sunday morning as he reflected upon reaching another career milestone.

When Braun touched home plate after a three-run home run in Saturday’s loss to the Cubs, he scored his 1,000th run in the Major Leagues. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Braun is the 337th player since 1871 to reach that plateau, but only the 44th to top 1,000 runs scored while spending his entire career with one team. Stan Musial leads the latter category with 1,949 runs scored, all for the Cardinals. Of the nine active players with 1,000 runs scored, Braun is alone in scoring them all for one franchise.

The only other players to score 1,000 runs for the Brewers in 50-plus seasons as a franchise? You guessed it: Robin Yount and Paul Molitor.

“If I take any time to reflect, the thing I reflect on is feeling fortunate to be a part of a lot of good offenses,” Braun, 35, said. “Obviously, my first five or six years, having Prince behind me led to me scoring a lot of runs. We have a pretty prolific offense still today.

“So more than anything, I’m grateful for having good teammates for a long time, and being able to play long enough at a high enough level to get to 1,000 runs. It’s not an easy thing to do.”

He added, “And on top of Prince, having J.J. and Corey and Rickie and all of those guys, just really good offensive players, it prevented teams from honing in on any one guy. So when I look back, I’m appreciative of that. And it’s the same today.”

Braun said he had forgotten about the impending milestone until it was acknowledged on the scoreboard Saturday night. His phone was filled with text messages after the game.

“For Brauny, what we don't always appreciate is that he's been with the Brewers this whole time,” said manager Craig Counsell. “There are so few players who get past the 10-year mark with one. So his 1,000 runs, it's with one team. That's what we should take a second to appreciate, that it's all been here and he has a chance to have his whole career here.”

After hitting into a heavy dose of hard luck last season, Braun spent time with private swing coaches making adjustments to his swing. Through Saturday, he had three home runs and a .906 OPS in his first 32 regular-season plate appearances.

“I’m hitting the ball hard, so I feel pretty good,” Braun said. “My ground-ball to fly-ball ratio [1.10, his lowest rate since 2008] is good, which is a priority for me. It’s not so much specifically launch angle or trying to hit the ball in the air, but that is a positive.

“So, I’m encouraged. But the sample size is so small, I don’t think it’s large enough to draw any real conclusions.”

He said he would wait until he has 150-200 plate appearances banked to really delve into the statistics.

Roster move
The Brewers made the most of what will be many roster moves on Sunday morning, promoting reliever Jake Petricka from Triple-A San Antonio and optioning Taylor Williams after a 41-pitch outing Saturday night.

It was part roster management to provide Counsell with a fresh arm, and part response to Williams’ early season performance. In his first four appearances, Williams was charged with five earned runs on six hits, three walks and a hit batsman in 4 1/3 innings.

“I really think Taylor is capable of getting it going and being a staple here, but he's struggled in his first couple of outings,” Counsell said “So we have to get his fastball going good again, and I'm confident he'll be back again and pitching well.”

The Brewers signed the 30-year-old Petricka (pronounced puh-TRITCH-kuh) to a one-year free-agent deal in January. A sinker specialist, he pitched last season for the Blue Jays. Petricka last pitched on Thursday for San Antonio and had been idle since.

Last call
• Braun is always happy to spend time at home in Los Angeles, but this year’s trip is even better because it spans an entire week beginning with three games against the Angels and the great Mike Trout. Jhoulys Chacin will start Monday’s 9:07 p.m. CT series opener.

“[Trout] is the best player in the game and on a short list of the greatest players of all time to this point in his career,” said Braun. “It’s fun to play against anyone who is that good. I know over the past week he’s swung the bat really well, so you hope he gets that out of his system.”

• The organization placed Triple-A outfielder Troy Stokes Jr. on the injured list because of left lat soreness. The issue is expected to clear up quickly, but since it is so early in the season, the club opted to take a cautious approach. Stokes is No. 13 on MLB Pipeline’s list of Milwaukee’s top prospects.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram and like him on Facebook.