Dealing with a nagging inflamed thumb, noted worst man in baseball Ryan Braun ended the longest homerless streak in his career with a three-homer performance that led the Brewers to their fourth consecutive victory in a 10-4 drubbing of the Phillies.
Now with second career game with three homers (4/30/12 vs. San Diego), Braun had gone 98 consecutive plate appearances without a home run. A three-run jack in the third inning ended the streak and an opposite-field homer on a high sinker tamed most of the questions surrounding the impact of his thumb on his power.
Adam McCalvy noted that one major reason for Braun’s big afternoon was a swing adjustment.
“I eliminated my leg kick, kind of shortened my stride and make it as simple as possible,” Braun said. “That’s easy to say when you have a good day, though. The thing is, it impacts my bat speed, it impacts my bat path, it impacts everything. So the quicker I’m able to get that down, the better chance I have to find a swing that works.”
Braun’s shortened swing was especially evident on his second homer. Kyle Kendrick left a 89 mph sinker up and out over the zone and Braun kept his head and shoulders square, driving the ball out to right-center. It was a quicker swing without his prominent leg kick. And it led to a homer. I’m all for that result.
The swing may not have been the only aid in Braun’s big day–Phillies fans showered him with boos throughout the game, which added an additional sense of sweetness to each homer. Phillies fans weren’t the only ones mad about it. I did a quick Twitter search of “Ryan Braun cheater” and found some of my favorites. Enjoy.
— sauce daddy tweets (@Big_Daddy_Simsy) April 9, 2014
— John Hilbert (@jfhilbert84) April 9, 2014
Ryan Braun is a cheater and a coward… what makes you think he still isn't cheating? Have you heard of a cheater who doesn't cheat always
— Oakland Baseball (@_ReginaldWhite_) April 9, 2014
@MLB Let it be known- I was the loud, obnoxious man near the camera-well that shouted "boo" and "cheater" during every Ryan Braun at bat.
— RRH (@RossHoltry) April 9, 2014
He's also a good liar and cheater..sooo there's that. “@CyrtHogg: hey guys maybe ryan braun is just good at baseball what a novel theory”
— Patrick Brown (@Patt_Brown) April 8, 2014
So did Ryan Braun have to start the season with -1 home runs because he is a cheater? #arithmetic
— Mr. Nelson (@MrNelsonBHS) April 9, 2014
Ryan Braun is the biggest scumbag cheater in sports. yes.. even worse than ARod.
— Johno I (@thejohnoparty) April 8, 2014
Ryan Braun your really making it hard to not call you a cheater. I mean c'mon. 3 hrs today
— SMORSES (@TheMorseCODE59) April 8, 2014
— The Nate Brown (@RunSoHard) April 8, 2014