Though the Brewers were unable to hold off the Cubs last season for the NL Central title, manager Ned Yost said that experience will help his team as it enters the stretch run of another playoff race.
"It's already come into play a lot," said Yost. "Games like (Sunday in L.A.), I think everybody understood it was a hard-fought game. We went into L.A. and played three really, really good games.
"That's all you do, you go in and play as good as you can play, and take what comes with that. We battled back (in a 7-5 walk-off loss). We showed the Dodgers that we don't quit, no matter what the circumstances are."
Last year, the Cubs chased down the Brewers. This time, it's the Brewers trying to catch the Cubs. But Yost said he doesn't worry about that pursuit with nearly six weeks remaining in the season.
"We're not really focused on the Cubs," Yost said. "We're focused on winning ball games. If we focus on that, things will take care of themselves. People think we play every day with an eye on the scoreboard. We come out and play every day and focus on that game. I know we're two games up in the wild-card race, but I don't know how much the Cubs are up on us. I don't focus on that right now."
Brewers 9, Astros 3
It was a night of heavy work for southpaw CC Sabathia. Not only was he allowed to throw 130 pitches to record his fifth complete game in nine starts since joining the Brewers, he went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a sacrifice bunt.
Sabathia even went first-to-third in the fourth inning on a double by second baseman Ray Durham, getting his 6-foot-7, 290-pound body moving as fast as he could. Sabathia pitched out of a bases-loaded mess in the ninth to finish with an 11-hitter and boost his record to 8-0 with the Brewers.
He received plenty of support from Durham (2-for-3, two doubles, three RBIs) and right fielder Corey Hart (3-for-4, homer, double, two RBIs) as the Brewers opened a six-game home stand with a victory.
--Second baseman Rickie Weeks was out of the lineup because of a sprained left thumb suffered during a fifth-inning swing Sunday in Los Angeles. Weeks was examined by team physician William Raasch and listed as "day to day."
--Left fielder Ryan Braun exited the game after striking out to end the sixth inning. Braun appeared to aggravate the rib strain that forced him to sit out six games last week. He had just returned to action Sunday in Los Angeles.
--Catcher Jason Kendall started his 114th game behind the plate Monday night against Houston. The club record for starts by a catcher is 121 by Darrell Porter in 1975.
--Sabathia is only the third starting pitcher in the last 90 seasons to go 8-0 after changing teams in-season. Virgil Trucks got off to an 8-0 start in 1953 after being sent by the St. Louis Browns to the Chicago White Sox, and Doyle Alexander went 9-0 in 1987 after Atlanta traded him to Detroit for John Smoltz.
--The Brewers had their 16th consecutive sellout crowd Monday night at Miller Park, running their season total to a franchise-record 32 sellouts. The previous mark of 31 sellouts was established last season.