The 2011 Brewers season took a positive turn over the past week and a half when Milwaukee won 8 of 9 games on their homestand completed Wednesday, including two of three against the St. Louis Cardinals -- the Brewers' closest competition in the National League Central.
In the capstone victory Thursday, third baseman Casey McGehee, struggling all year after a breakout campaign in 2010, tied a franchise record by belting three home runs off Cardinals starter Edwin Jackson. McGehee came into the game with only five home runs all year.
Earlier Wednesday morning, McGehee had a chance encounter with Clayton Wollner, age 7, of Sussex.
"He was being pretty shy and I kept asking him, 'Do you have any questions for me?' " McGehee recounted later to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "He wouldn't ask me anything, wouldn't ask me anything. So finally, jokingly, his dad goes, 'Why don't you hit a home run for him?'
"I go, 'Wait a second. I've got five on the year, dude. If it was that easy, I'd have had more by now. So how about let's go for I don't screw anything up today?' That was good enough for him."
Wollner, the son of Ben and Jen Wollner, was on hand before the game because of a sponsored activity between Children's Hopsital, Fox Sports Wisconsin and the Brewers, and Clayton turned out to be a lucky charm for the Milwaukee third baseman. During his postgame comments, McGehee told local reporters he'd like to track Clayton down again.
"I want to bring him to Houston with me, and then we're going to go to St. Louis," said McGehee to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. "I want to get him a locker -- we have a little space right here. Hopefully, we're going to track Clayton down."
Whether McGehee is fully serious or not remains to be seen.
Pictured: Clayton Wollner, 7, of Sussex poses with Brewers third baseman Casey McGehee before Wednesday's game. The Brewers defeated the Cardinals, 10-5, on the strength of three McGehee home runs.