Braun believes Brewers can make playoff push

Braun believes Brewers can make playoff push

CINCINNATI -- Winning games can cure a team's mindset and it looks like the Brewers' six-game winning streak entering Saturday is doing just that.

The Brewers were 14 games below .500, 19 games back in the National League Central and 10 games back of the second Wild Card spot in the NL, but Ryan Braun wasn't ruling out the postseason just yet.

"We legitimately feel like we are in a place where our thought process is shock the world, why not?" Braun said prior to Saturday night's game against the Reds. "Why not? We got three months left [so] why not. Go undefeated in July, why not? We feel good about it. The encouraging thing is there's a lot of guys up and down the lineup that are really swinging the bats well."

The Brewers' winning streak was built off a recent surge of offense. With 12 more runs Friday night in the series-opening win over the Reds, the Brewers had scored 45 runs during the winning streak.

The Brewers also averaged 13.83 hits per game during the stretch, including more than 16 hits in four of their last five games before Saturday.

The recent hot streak of hitting is a flip from the start to season when the Brewers were hitting .167 as a team through May. Brewers manager Craig Counsell said the recent hot trend is part of the season and has been generated with smarter pitch selection.

"It's the baseball season, that's the baseball season," Counsell said. "That's what happens in a baseball season. You go through stretches of guys struggling and you go through stretches of guys collectively swinging the bats well together. How do you explain it? I think right now we're getting good pitches to hit [and] we're laying off the tough pitches."

With the Brewers not being closer than 15.5 games back of the NL Central leading Cardinals since the start of June, Braun appears more focused on the second wild card spot. The Brewers have a long way to go, but Braun believes the addition of a second wild card team leaves hope for the Brewers.

"I will say we know how many games we are out or back of the second wild card," Braun said. "I think the second wild card gives everybody at least a little bit of hope. Sometimes I think it's false hope, but there is always some hope.

"Obviously there are a decent amount of teams between us and that spot, but we feel good about ourselves, we really do," Braun said. "So it's nice to be able to show up every day and feel like we are the team we expected to be from the beginning of the year."

Robert Bondy is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.