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Browsing Posts tagged Albert Pujols

Braun hits the first of 3 HRs (Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

By Scott Barancik/Jewish Baseball News

When Ryan Braun smashed three HRs against the San Diego Padres on Monday night (see video), Jewish baseball fans everywhere celebrated.

Here are a few more reasons to be proud:

  • The Milwaukee Brewers right fielder is just the fifth Jewish player since 1918 to homer 3 or more times in a 9-inning game, and the first to do so in nearly 10 years.

Players with 3+ HRs in a 9-inning game, since 1918

NameTeamDateHRsNotes
Ryan BraunMilwaukee Brewers4/30/20123Went 4-for-5 with a triple, 6 RBIs, and 15 total bases
Mike LieberthalPhiladelphia Phillies8/10/20023Went 4-for-5 with a single and 4 RBIs
Shawn GreenLos Angeles Dodgers5/23/20024Went 6-for-6 with a single, double, 7 RBIs, and 19 total bases
Shawn GreenLos Angeles Dodgers8/15/20013Went 3-for-5 with 7 RBIs
Mike EpsteinWashington Senators5/16/19693Went 3-for-4 with 4 RBIs
Al RosenCleveland Indians4/29/19523Went 4-6 with a single, walk, and 7 RBIs
  • Hank Greenberg, who leads all Jewish players with 331 career HRs, never had a 3-HR game. He did hit two HRs in a game 35 times.
  • Thanks to an added triple Monday night, Braun finished with 15 total bases. The last time a major-leaguer had 15 or more total bases in a 9-inning game? Nearly 8 years ago, when Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals hit 3 HRs, a double, and a single against the very same San Diego Padres (7/20/2004).
  • Monday night’s game took place in a venue — San Diego’s Petco Park — that is unfriendly to HRs, though much more so to lefties than righties. As this article points out, the Padres as a team hit just 6 HRs in their first 14 home games this season. Braun matched half that number in just one game. (Thanks to Jewish Baseball News contributor Jack W. for the tip.)
  • Monday’s performance vaulted Braun into a tie for 2nd-most HRs in the National League this season, behind Matt Kemp’s 12 dingers. The Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder finished 2nd to Braun in last year’s N.L. MVP vote.

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Ryan Braun, shown on cover of Aug. 29, 2011 issue

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — It’s good to be Ryan Braun.

This week’s issue of Sports Illustrated features the 27-year-old outfielder on its cover, along with Milwaukee Brewers teammates Prince Fielder and Nyjer Morgan. The headline refers to Braun and Fielder as “two wallbanging MVP candidates.” (Braun was 3 years old the last time SI devoted a cover to the Brewers, in 1987.)

Braun’s Brewers are 78-54 and lead the N.L. Central division by 10 games over the second-place St. Louis Cardinals, the largest cushion in baseball.

What’s more, Braun is closing in on one of baseball’s most exclusive fraternities, the 30/30 club. Since 1901, only 34 MLB players have had one or more seasons in which they tallied at least 30 HRs and 30 stolen bases (see table). With 30 games remaining in the 2011, Braun has 25 HRs and 29 stolen bases.

The only Brewer so far in the 30/30 club is Tommy Harper, who joined in 1970. If successful, Braun would join two other Jewish members: Shawn Green (1998), and Ian Kinsler (2009).

Calling Braun an MVP candidate may be premature, but it’s not a huge stretch. The fifth-year player is among N.L. leaders in multiple categories, according to baseball-reference.com:

  • 1st in slugging percentage (.586)
  • 1st in on-base plus slugging (.985)
  • 1st in runs scored (90)
  • 1st in offensive win percentage (.798)
  • 2nd in batting average (.328)
  • 2nd in wins above replacement (6.2)
  • 2nd in power/speed number (26.4)
  • 3rd in doubles (31)
  • 3rd in fielding percentage among left fielders (.995)
  • 5th in RBIs (85)
  • 5th in on-base percentage (.399)
  • 7th in stolen bases (29)

Braun, the 2007 N.L. Rookie of the Year, has been here before. In 2008 he finished 3rd in the MVP vote, behind Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals and Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies.

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Gold Glove awards leave Ike Davis empty-handed

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Albert Pujols, not Ike Davis, has won the 2010 N.L. Gold Glove award for first basemen.

Davis, the New York Mets rookie, was considered a strong contender for the award despite being a first-year player. The 23-year-old made several highlight-reel catches during the season and led all National League first baseman in UZR, a complicated statistic that tries to measure how many runs a fielder’s efforts prevented vs. allowed.

Davis drew so much attention for his head-over-heels catches into the dugout that his former minor-league team, the Brooklyn Cyclones, issued a bobble-head doll showing Davis upside down.

The Gold Glove award was the second for Pujols, who plays for the St. Louis Cardinals. He also won the award in 2006.

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