Ryan Braun dreams of getting in wild-card race

Cincinnati – The math is still daunting. No question about that. But when you’re playing better baseball, it allows you to dream a little.

The Brewers a wild card contender? With a 34-48 record and 10 games out of the race for the second wild card in the National League, it stretches the imagination.
But, the way Ryan Braun sees it, why not stretch your imagination?

“We legitimately feel we’re in a place where the thought process is to shock the world,” said Braun. “Why not? We’ve got three months left. Why not? We can go undefeated in July. Why not? We feel good about it.”

No, Braun has not become delusional. In a way, he was having fun with the concept of wild-card contention. But in a week when the Brewers had won every game entering Saturday and the offense resembled the ’27 Yankees, why not let your optimism take a leap?

Yes, it would take a 14-game winning streak just to get back to .500 but that’s if you needed to do it this month. Braun would like to see the Brewers continue to peck away at the deficit they built with a horrendous start and see what happens.

“The last week has been fun,” said Braun, who was batting .462 during the road trip. “I think it’s the first time we’ve really enjoyed baseball all year. You get back to the point where you really look forward to coming to the ballpark.

“We show up every day, everybody feels good about where we’re at. We feel like we’re going to give ourselves an opportunity to win. It makes the season a lot more enjoyable.

“The encouraging thing about it is there are a lot of guys up and down the lineup really swinging the bats well. Our bullpen has been dominant all year. And you see a lot of starters trending in the right direction. So, if somehow there’s a regression to the mean and everybody ends up somewhere near the realm of what their career numbers are, then there’s a lot of good baseball to be played by us.”

But, what about the fact that the Brewers not only were 10 games out of the second wild card but ninth in line, ahead of only woeful Philadelphia?

“The second wild card gives everybody a little bit of hope,” said Braun. “Sometimes, I think it’s false hope. There’s a decent amount of teams between us and that spot but we feel good about ourselves. We really do.

“It’s not nice to just show up every day and feel we’re the team we expected to be at the beginning of the year. It’s a good thing we’re even having this conversation because a week ago this conversation is not something anyone could have.”

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