6/19/2014 9:10 P.M. ET
Braun on cusp of 1,000th game for Brewers
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- When Ryan Braun next steps on the field, he will reach a statistical milestone. It will be his 1,000th game for the Brewers, making Braun the 12th player in franchise history to reach that milestone and the 18th active Major Leaguer with that many games with his current club. Teammate Rickie Weeks is on both lists.
"It sounds like a big number, yeah," said Braun, who debuted with the Brewers in 2007. "I've always said, anything like that you try not to focus on too much during the season. I think the focus is just on preparation, competing and helping us win games. All those types of things you kind of look back on in the offseason. But that does sound like a big number. It goes by really quick.
1,000 games with Brewers
"I think longevity in this game in general is an accomplishment. People always say the challenging thing isn't making it to the big leagues; it's staying in the big leagues. So for anybody who accomplishes that kind of longevity, it's something to be proud of and looked back upon fondly for sure."
Braun was absent from the Brewers' starting lineup on Thursday as he continues to battle a batting funk. He entered the team's June 8 game in Pittsburgh batting .311, but dropped 25 points by going 6-for-42 over his next 10 games, including a tough-luck 0-for-4 on Wednesday night. It included two called strikeouts against D-backs lefty Wade Miley on pitches that were off the plate inside, and a flyout to the deepest part of left-center at Chase Field.
"It's just from at-bat to at-bat, we need to get him back and being that consistent guy who gives you the three good at-bats a game," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "We're not there with him yet. We were for a while, he was swinging well for a while. Then all of a sudden, he lost it. Physically, it's part of the problem when he goes in a little bit of a funky stage, so that's why [Braun is out of the lineup] today. Part of the reason he's off is so we can get him back strong."
Both Roenicke and Braun said the rib-cage injury that landed Braun on the disabled list last month is no longer a factor. But he is still bothered from time to time by a nagging nerve issue in his right hand that dates to last season, plus the usual bumps and bruises common for everyday Major Leaguers.
"The nice thing about him is he has made the transition to right field and played a great defense for us," Roenicke said. "I didn't think that would happen that quickly. He has saved us a lot, and that's part of the reason I haven't wanted him out of right field and have been playing him a lot. That's part of the reason."
Asked whether he felt like he was still in a funk at the plate, Braun said, "Oh yeah, for sure. You guys have seen me often enough that you can tell. I feel OK. But that ball yesterday, if I hit that ball in almost any other ballpark, it's a homer. It's 410 feet to left-center.
"It seems like that's the way stuff goes when things aren't going well. Both of my strikeouts were on balls. Neither of those pitches were strikes. It happens; it's a part of the game. For me, when I typically get in trouble, I'm swinging at bad pitches. When I have the discipline to take that pitch, you should be rewarded for it. And when things aren't going well, they're called strikes. That's just kind of the way the game works."
Gomez extends on-base streak to 32, matches Yount
PHOENIX -- Carlos Gomez struck out three times Thursday before he blooped an eighth-inning single, extending his hitting streak to a career-best 15 games and his streak of reaching base to 32 games. The latter is the longest current streak in the Major Leagues, and tied Gomez with Robin Yount's 1989 run for the sixth-best in Brewers history.
Gomez is one game shy of tying Prince Fielder's 2007 streak of reaching base, and two games shy of the longest run by a Brewer since Scott Posednik set a club record by reaching safely in 47 consecutive games in 2003.
Consecutive games reaching safely by a Brewer
|Rank||Player||Year||No. of Games|
"If it happens it happens, but I'm not thinking about it," Gomez said.
Rather, he said he was focused on winning games, which the Brewers did again Thursday, 4-1 over the D-backs. It was Gomez's second game back after missing two starts with a sore left hamstring.
According to the Baseball Almanac, Ted Williams set the Major League record when he reached safely in 84 consecutive games in 1949. When Gomez faced the prospect of pinch-hitting on Monday, he asked Brewers manager Ron Roenicke for that bit of trivia.
When Roenicke answered, Gomez laughed and said, "I'm not going to break that, so use me [off the bench]."
When Roenicke first saw a still-developing Gomez in 2011, did he think he was capable of such consistency?
"You really want me to answer that?" Roenicke said. "No, he wasn't that consistent guy. We had great games from him and then he would get wild with his swinging. He's at a point now where you can see at-bat to at-bat, if he gets a little crazy, the next at-bat you can see he's really concentrating and trying to make sure he gets a good pitch to hit.
"Those streaks -- it's nice to have a hitting streak, but on-base is what counts. He continues to get on base, but obviously we want him to continue driving the ball, too. That's big."
Prospect Burgos undergoes shoulder surgery
PHOENIX -- Right-hander Hiram Burgos, part of the Brewers' Minor League pitching depth, underwent right shoulder surgery on Thursday that could sideline him the rest of the season.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said the club's athletic training staff characterized the procedure as a "clean-up." Burgos, 26, also was bothered by a shoulder problem last season, when he excelled in the World Baseball Classic for Puerto Rico before making his Major League debut early in the season, but did not pitch in the Majors or Minors after July 7.
Burgos was able to regain strength in his shoulder without surgery, but he felt renewed discomfort this year after four starts for Triple-A Nashville.
"I don't think there's anything major, they just want to go in and make sure," Roenicke said after consulting with the medical staff. "He was going, but it just didn't seem right to him."