Braun joins select crowd by notching 40/30 season

Braun joins select crowd by notching 40/30 season

MILWAUKEE -- Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun joined some select company on Friday, but he was not exactly eager to talk about it.

With his steal of third base in the sixth inning of Friday's game vs. the Astros, Braun notched the 11th season of 40 home runs and 30 stolen bases in Major League history, a milestone marred by a 7-6 loss to the Astros that pushed Milwaukee to the brink of elimination from the postseason picture.

Braun is the ninth player to put together a 40/30 season -- Jeff Bagwell and Barry Bonds each did it twice -- and the first since Alfonso Soriano with the Nationals in 2006. Before that, no one had done it since Bagwell in 1999.

"It's definitely something that's special to me," Braun said. "But I've said many times that the middle of the season is not a time for reflection. It's tough to enjoy something when you lose a game."

Braun reached 40 home runs back on Sept. 16 and had been sitting on 29 steals for six games before he broke from second base against Astros reliever Hector Ambriz and catcher Jason Castro on Friday. Braun had just delivered a two-run double that cut the Brewers' deficit to 5-3, and boosted his National League-best RBI count to 112. His career high is 114 RBIs in 2009.

The Brewers are making a public relations push for Braun to repeat as NL MVP, especially since the Brewers have climbed into the Wild Card race. San Francisco's Buster Posey and Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen are among the other contenders.

That's another topic Braun would rather avoid for now.

"I don't really worry about things that are out of my control," he said. "The biggest focus for me is trying to play well and help us get to the playoffs. If that doesn't happen, history has shown us that rarely do guys get rewarded for [individual performances] like that during the season."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.