Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/17/12

How long had it been since Ryan Braun took early batting practice?

"It's been a long time," Braun told reporters Thursday after doing exactly that with a group of Milwaukee Brewers teammates before the series opener against Philadelphia at Miller Park. "I think it's the second time ever in my career."

Braun figured it was time to try something different after sitting out Wednesday to get a mental break from a prolonged slump. He was batting .143 since Aug. 1 with no home runs, a long drought you don't often see from the reigning NL MVP.

"I'm big on my routine," he said. "I've always said you don't have control over results, focus on process that whole thing. So, I don't like to break my routine too often. But, every once in a while, if things aren't going too well, it makes sense to come out and take a little extra BP."

Braun has a strict routine of physical preparation before every game and rarely changes it, but he decided some extra swings couldn't hurt.

"The only time I'll do baseball stuff is right before the game," he says. "I haven't taken extra BP on the field for years. I'm always quality over quantity. I don't like doing too much. You can only do so much of it.

"Plus, you can only really focus on baseball for so long and keep up the intensity and focus that makes it worthwhile. At some point, you can take a million swings, but if you're not doing them correctly, you're building bad muscle memory. I've just never been a fan of quantity over quality."

Braun said he wasn't looking to make drastic changes and didn't need to do so.

"There (are) always subtle changes," he said. "I've always said the biggest challenge for me is plate discipline. It's not something that's ever come easy for me. When I'm going good, I'm swinging at good pitches. When I'm not, I'm getting myself out.

"Every once in a while you face a pitcher who's locked in and makes good pitches, and there's not a lot you can do about it. But, more often than not, I've felt like when I'm going good and swinging at good pitches, success is inevitable."

Braun then went out and proved it by socking home runs in his first two at-bats against Phillies lefty Cliff Lee.

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