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Brewers learned from '07 heartbreak

Brewers learned from '07 heartbreak

PITTSBURGH -- Manager Ned Yost said the Brewers' loss to the Cardinals on Wednesday was as tough as they come.

Milwaukee headed into the eighth with a two-run lead but exited the inning with a two-run deficit. The loss broke a five-game winning streak and sent the Brewers to Pittsburgh on a down note.

A heart-breaking defeat like that might have started a bigger slide in 2007.

But not this year.

"Last year, if we had a bad game, it would carry over for three, four or five games," Yost said. "This year it never has. They understand that you let those go and don't worry about it."

This weekend, the Brewers have won back-to-back games against the Pirates at PNC Park and were looking for a three-game sweep on Sunday. The positive bounce-back is proof that the club has learned from its 9-18 record last August. The Crew entered that month with a 58-49 record, but headed into September at 67-67.

"When you've gone through as a team what we went through last year, you learn from that," starter Jeff Suppan said. "It would be a shame if we didn't learn from that. I think that you've seen an approach that we're just grinding out the season, grinding out and trying to get as many wins as we can."

The right-hander went on to explain that there's a different feeling this year inside the Brewers' clubhouse as opposed to last season. Suppan said he can't explain it, but his manger sure can.

"[There's] a huge difference," Yost said. "With them going through what they did last year and the experience that they were gaining, they've never been through it before. You don't know what to expect. It makes it hard.

"When you're experienced, it makes it a lot easier because you understand that you always come out of it. They know how to handle it. They've been through it. They know the ins and outs of it."

Combine that experience with the addition of veterans Gabe Kapler and Jason Kendall, and you've got a 19-7 August record thus far in 2008. If the Brewers win on Sunday, it would be the most victories in a month since September 1992, when they went 20-7.

"Our focus is where it should be -- on the little things, where we're focused on one game to win [rather] than to win a series," Suppan said. "I think that when we don't, or have a tough loss, I think we're recovering faster as a team, getting back to just playing our game."

Todd Krise is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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