Fielder punctuates Brewers' 1-2 punch

Fielder punctuates Brewers' 1-2 punch

MILWAUKEE -- After each of Prince Fielder's two home runs this postseason, his teammate and shadow boxing partner, Ryan Braun, has seen firsthand just how amped Fielder can get.

As the two do their usual post-home run routine -- featuring Fielder blocking a punch from Braun, and Braun ducking under one in return from Fielder -- it's been a little more intense in the postseason.

"I'm fortunate I'm paying attention and ready to duck quickly," Braun said. "He's been pretty fired up and pretty emotional. He's had two huge home runs for us."

By the time Fielder's go-ahead two-run homer had gone over the fence Sunday, the crowd at Miller Park had only just begun to settle down following Braun's two-run double.

Dual threat
Since 2007, Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun have homered in the same game more times than any other pair of teammates.
Players
Team
Games
Prince Fielder/Ryan Braun
Mil.
37
Chase Utley/Ryan Howard
Phi.
30
Prince Fielder/Corey Hart
Mil.
23
Includes both regular-season games and playoff games
The crowd was still so loud that Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he could not even hear the ball off Fielder's bat.

That was due in part to the fact Fielder hit the first pitch he saw and in part because his home run was measured at 119.2 mph off the bat, the highest speed of any homer in 2011, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

"That was one of the hardest-hit balls I've ever seen," Braun said. "I'm always worried when I'm on first base and Prince is up that he's going to top-spin one at me. I had a good view of it. It got out in a hurry."

While it certainly was fast, Fielder was asked if it also was the most important home run he's ever hit.

"Yeah. So far," he said.

With the way he's been swinging the bat over the past week, it's easy to believe Fielder will hit an even more important home run sooner rather than later. His three career postseason home runs tie Fielder with Ted Simmons and Paul Molitor for the most in franchise postseason history.

With his swing in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series, Fielder also added to the list of games in which he and Braun have each homered.

Since 2007, no pair of teammates has hit home runs in the same game more often than Braun and Fielder, who have done so 37 times. Milwaukee is 28-9 in those games, including wins in each of the last 16 times they've done so.

"Whenever he's hitting, and hitting the ball all over the place, I think [Braun] wears the pitcher down," Fielder said. "So the pitcher is a little worn down and hopefully he'll make a mistake to me, too."

That is exactly what seemed to happen in Game 1 as things escalated quickly in the fifth inning. The Brewers opened the inning with a single, double, Braun's double and Fielder's home run.

This postseason may be the last time Braun will bat in front of Fielder, who will be a free agent, and if so, they're going out with a bang.

Braun got things started for the Brewers in Game 1, crushing a 463-foot, two-run home run off Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia to put Milwaukee on the board in the first inning and give it the early lead. Braun and Fielder each have hit a pair of home runs this postseason, with all four blasts coming in crucial situations.

They've also shown just how quickly they can swing the momentum of a game.

"They're really good," said Milwaukee starter Zack Greinke. "Probably the best [No.] 3-4 [combo] in baseball right now."

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