7/25/2014 7:51 P.M. ET
Braun moving past injuries, heating up at plate
By Jim Hoehn / Special to MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- After being hampered by a series of injuries earlier in the season, outfielder Ryan Braun is starting to resemble his past self.
"He's been a little different lately," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said before Friday night's game. "I think he's been really good. He looks like himself lately. Early on, he had the injury, which obviously set him back. He was on the DL for that.
"But, if you look up there, his numbers are getting where they should be again. He's slowly creeping back up there. Really, the last week, I'm seeing the guy that we were used to seeing."
Braun was hampered at the start of the season with a nagging thumb injury, then went on the DL in early May with a right oblique strain. Earlier this month, he missed three games with back spasms.
Over his last 10 games, Braun is hitting .385 with three home runs and 11 RBIs, raising his average to .302. The 30-year-old Braun entered 2014 with a .312 career average over seven seasons.
Brewers being cautious with Gennett's tight quad
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers are content to take a cautious approach with second baseman Scooter Gennett, who has been out since leaving Tuesday's game with a tight right quad muscle.
Gennett, whose .305 average leads National League second baseman, may be available for some duty Saturday, but manager Ron Roenicke said he hopes to have him back in the lineup on Sunday.
"I think that's what the plan is," Roenicke said before Friday night's game against the Mets. "He's going to go through everything today, make sure all phases are good. And, if he comes out of that, they'll let me know for the game today. He'll be available hopefully tomorrow again and see if we can get him back in there on the day after and see what happens."
Veteran Rickie Weeks, the other half of the second-base platoon who usually starts against left-handed pitching, was in the starting lineup Friday for the third straight game in Gennett's absence.
The left-handed-hitting Gennett probably would not have been in the starting lineup anyway on Saturday against left-hander Jon Niese. Weeks, hitting .259 overall, is batting .242 against left-handers, compared with just .118 for Gennett.
Gennett, hitting .338 over his last 46 games, agreed with the cautious approach, although it's against his nature.
"Normally, I'm not one to come out of the game," said Gennett. "But, you know yourself and your limits and if I kept pushing it the way I was, it probably wouldn't have ended up good. So, it's more to prevent something worse from happening."
Roenicke hoping for more patience, consistency
MILWAUKEE -- Manager Ron Roenicke hopes a pair of walks that fueled a four-run inning in Thursday's 9-1 victory over the Mets is indicative of a team starting to collectively swing the bat better.
"I think you can see a lot of it with how many first-pitch outs there are," Roenicke said. "If we've got five, six first-pitch outs, we're up there just swinging away. Last night, I think their team had four of them and their team's very patient. They're probably the most patient team in our league. And that really helps a pitcher out when he's making those first-pitch outs.
"So that's really probably what bothers me more than anything. If you make a first-pitch out and you're squaring up the ball and lining out somewhere, fine. But, if it's the breaking ball that goes down and you follow it and you chop the ball right into the ground first pitch, that's not a good at-bat."
The Brewers are 13th in the National League with 268 walks, while the Mets are first with 335.
Roenicke also said he agrees with the adage that hitting is contagious, at least in some cases. In four consecutive victories heading into Friday night's game against the Mets, the Brewers are averaging better than five runs per game.
"I think it's that way more with some teams than others," Roenicke said. "Teams that are on-base guys and they walk and they do those things, I think they'll be more consistent. But, our guys, they swing. They swing early. I think if somebody gets some early runs, they all relax and then all of a sudden it is contagious."
"When you try to press and you're trying to be the first one to either drive in that run or score that first run, you get a little more anxious when you're at the plate," Roenicke said. "We don't want to be a group that is real inconsistent, but so far that's kind of what I see."
Jim Hoehn is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.