MILWAUKEE -- Give Ryan Braun extra credit for his leaping, warning-track catch in the Brewers' 7-2, 11-inning loss to the Cubs on Monday at Miller Park.One point for the catch itself. Another point for the post-catch troll job.• Vote Braun and the Brewers to the All-Star Game Braun held the
MILWAUKEE -- Give Ryan Braun extra credit for his leaping, warning-track catch in the Brewers' 7-2, 11-inning loss to the Cubs on Monday at Miller Park.
One point for the catch itself. Another point for the post-catch troll job.
• Vote Braun and the Brewers to the All-Star Game
Braun held the crowd -- a mixture of Cubs and Brewers fans -- in suspense after leaping for Willson Contreras' two-out fly ball to left field in the sixth inning of a one-run game, shrugging his shoulders as if the baseball had eluded his glove and tied the game. He then started trotting back to the dugout with the baseball in hand, Milwaukee's 2-1 lead intact for at least another inning.
"I was just having fun with it," Braun said. "As a hitter, that's so frustrating. It's kind of an emotional moment, and Willson obviously hit it pretty good. He thought he had a homer."
Contreras offered a round of applause.
It was Braun's second highlight-worthy catch of the night, and the Brewers' second defensive gem of that inning. In the fourth, Braun dove to catch Anthony Rizzo's sinking line drive for the first out, and in the sixth, shortstop Orlando Arcia was shifted to the perfect position to catch Rizzo's line drive and throw to first base to double up Kristopher Bryant following a leadoff walk.
Up next was Contreras, who nearly provided the tying home run, only to see Braun pull it back.
Both times Braun was able to help out Brewers starting pitcher Junior Guerra, who finished the night with six innings of one-run ball.
"I take a lot of pride in my defense," Braun said. "I feel like I've been playing defense at a pretty high level, both in the outfield and at first base. It was a big moment in the game. Junior was pitching incredibly, so it was nice to pick him up right there."
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.
Stephen Cohn is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee. Follow him on Twitter @Stephen__Cohn.