A Pair Of Clinching Home Runs
Prior to Ryan Braun making his MLB debut in 2007, the Brewers had just two playoff appearances in franchise history. Those appearances came during back to back seasons dating all the way back to 1981 and 1982.
Fast forward to the 2021 season, in which Braun was not a member of the Brewers, that number is now up to eight postseason appearances. This means that Braun was involved in five postseason runs!
In Braun’s case, he was the driving force behind the Brewers making the playoffs in 2008 and 2011. He had exceptional seasons in both of those years and in fact won the MVP award in 2011.
When it came the 2008 playoff clinching game and 2011 Division clinching game, Braun came up big with clutch home runs in both games.
2) Go Ahead Two Run Home Run in 2008 Against The Cubs
By now you all know the story of the 2008 Brewers. They acquired CC Sabathia at the trade deadline and they relied heavily upon his left throwing arm to secure the team’s first playoff berth in 26 years. However they struggled in September and manager Ned Yost was fired with just 12 games remaining. Dale Sveum was promoted as interim manager.
It would not be until the final game of the 2008 regular season when the Brewers clinched their playoff berth. Ryan Braun played hero with a two run home run in the eighth inning to give the Brewers the lead! The Brewers entered the playoffs as a wild card team that season but unfortunately played the eventual World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Division Series.
1) Go Ahead Three Run Home Run in 2011 Against The Marlins
After making the playoffs in 2008, the Brewers did not return until 2011 when they became division champs. Again, on the night they clinched the division Ryan Braun had a big game. This time it was a go ahead three run home run that got the fans at Miller Park rocking.
Braun would go on to be MVP that season and his ability to come up clutch late in games certainly played a big factor in winning the award. Out of all of his home runs, this one stands out the most for it propelled the Brewers to clinch just their second division championship in franchise history.
While there are many other moments to chose from, these five home runs are a great representation of how clutch Ryan Braun was during his career. He had a knack for the big moment and in the words of Braun himself when asked about “This is what I do”.
Stay tuned to Reviewing the Brew as we celebrate the career of Ryan Braun.