Ryan Braun solidified his case for NL MVP (if he hadn’t already) with a two home run performance during a Friday night win in Cincinnati. The two blasts made Braun the second Brewer to accumulate 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in the same season, the first being Tommy Harper in 1970. “I’m really proud,” said Braun. “There’s a reason it’s only been done one other time in franchise history. It’s a hard thing to do.” The Brewers beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-3, eliminating them from playoff contention, while the Brewers shrunk their Magic Number to 7.
Oh yeah, Wolf got the win to improve to 13-9, Prince went deep for his 33rd, Kotsay and Kottaras also went yard, and Axford picked up his 43rd save (40th in a row).
Here are Braun’s numbers and National League rank in each category.
AVG: .330 (2nd)
OBP: .396 (4th)
SLG: .590 (1st)
OPS: .986 (1st)
HR: 30 (T-8th)
RBI: 99 (5th)
R: 100 (T-1st)
SB: 31 (T-7th)
The 30-30 club is nothing to scoff at. It’s an elite grouping of players who possess the talent to both bash the ball over the bleachers as well as swipe steals with blazing speed. The 30-30 club has seen its members increase over time, and 34 players have reached the plateau for a total of 54 magical seasons. Since 2000, there have been sixteen 30-30 seasons, however no one accomplished the feat last year. Smacking 30 home runs and stealing 30 bases in the same season is something that no Milwaukee Brewer has done since 1970 — when Tommy Harper hit 31 homers to go along with 38 stolen bases. Seven years before Harper, Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves crushed 44 homers while stealing 31 bags. Yet that’s where the story ends for the city of Milwaukee. 2011 promises to be different. Milwaukee left fielder Ryan Braun is looking to become the second Brewer to complete the statistical sensation. Braun currently has 24 home runs and 28 stolen bases and is on pace for 31-35.
Here are the players who have a chance of joining the 30-30 club this season:
Ryan Braun, LF, Brewers: 24 HR, 28 SB
Matt Kemp, CF, Dodgers: 29 HR, 33 SB
Curtis Granderson, CF, Yankees: 35 HR, 24 SB
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF, Red Sox: 22 HR, 34 SB
Justin Upton, RF, Diamondbacks: 25 HR, 19 SB
Ian Kinsler, 2B, Rangers: 21 HR, 21 SB