NEW YORK -- Brewers rookie Lorenzo Cain had to be prodded into hitting his first career home run in Sunday's home finale."Finally," chided Prince Fielder, who belted his 32nd the next inning. Cain does have some pop in his bat -- he hit 31 homers in 2,558 Minor League at-bats -- but had not been showing it since his August promotion to the Brewers, even in batting practice. Some of his teammates watched him hit before games and suggested he try swinging for the fences. "[On Saturday] we were all getting on Lorenzo about his batting practice," Craig Counsell said. "We were telling him he's got some power in that swing. We were kind of getting on him. We had to embarrass him into hitting a homer." Mission accomplished. Cain took a big swing against Marlins starter Adalberto Mendez and sent a towering fly ball down the left-field line, into the loge-level bleachers. "I worked on it, and hit some in batting practice," Cain said. "They teased me in BP, and I tried to hit some a little harder in BP and then took it into the game. It felt good." "I thought it was a really great thing," Counsell said. "Your teammates care enough about you to say, 'Look, there's something in there. You have to use it.' He hit some home runs in batting practice [Saturday], and then he comes out and hits one in the game. I think that was kind of cool, because he believes it's in there now."
Gamel preparing to undergo toe surgery
NEW YORK -- Brewers prospect Mat Gamel's season is over.Gamel was to leave the team Tuesday and will undergo surgery on Thursday to relieve pain in a sesamoid bone in his left big toe. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Richard Marks, who did a similar procedure for former Brewers outfielder Laynce Nix in 2006. Gamel's procedure has been scheduled for about two months, according to assistant general manager Gord Ash. If the Brewers didn't take advantage of an opening in Marks' schedule on Thursday, the surgery would have been pushed several weeks into the offseason. "He battled it last offseason, and we were hopeful that with rest and orthotics it would come around. It hasn't," Ash said. "He's battled it all season long. We just put it off until the end of the year."
The Brewers recalled Gamel from Triple-A Nashville on Sept. 1, but he rarely played in the Majors. In 12 games including two starts, Gamel was 3-for-15. He spent most of his season at Triple-A Nashville, batting .309 with 13 home runs and 67 RBIs after missing the start of the season with a torn muscle in his upper back.
Rookies make scene on streets of Manhattan
NEW YORK -- Perhaps the Brewers' rookies blended right into the streets of New York on Sunday night, some of them dressed as a dominatrix (Mike McClendon), a big pink bunny (Jonathan Lucroy), a 1920s-style flapper (Brandon Kintzler), a medical school graduate (Mat Gamel) an old man (Lorenzo Cain) and a slice of pizza (Jeremy Jeffress).But even in the Big Apple, they likely stood out. "It's kind of a baseball tradition that goes on in every clubhouse -- on one of the final road trips -- that the rookies have to wear a costume. I had to do it, too," said 40-year-old Craig Counsell. When the rookies returned to their lockers after Sunday's win over the Marlins at Miller Park, they found their street clothes missing, replaced by gaudy costumes. They wore them on the flight to New York, then were dropped off a few blocks from Grand Central Station and the team hotel. Consider it part of the Major League initiation. What did Counsell wear back in his day? "I wore a dress, yeah, with a short miniskirt," he said proudly. "I looked good." Cain's outfit came in a bag labeled, "Uncle Bert," and consisted of navel-high pants and, fittingly, a cane. "They say I'm the oldest 24-year-old they know," Cain said with a shrug. "So the costume speaks for me. I'll put it on. I'm fine with it. I'm a rookie, so I understand there are things I need to do." Lucroy planned to pull double-duty from his bunny costume. "I think I'm going to wear it for Halloween," he said.
The Brewers and Mets were rained out on Monday and will play a doubleheader on Wednesday beginning at 3:10 p.m. CT. Randy Wolf will start Tuesday, weather permitting, followed by Yovani Gallardo and Dave Bush in Wednesday's doubleheader, though the order has yet to be set. Chris Narveson will work Thursday's series finale, pushing rookie right-hander Mark Rogers to the final regular-season series in Cincinnati. Manager Ken Macha didn't want Rogers, who will once again be working on a pitch count, starting the day after a doubleheader.