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Fun with small samples: Brewers’ 19-run outburst boosts offensive rankings

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All it took was one (really) good day to pull the Brewers up from the bottom of the league

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Detroit Tigers Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers’ 19-run outburst in Detroit on Wednesday was historic and incredible, even if it was topped before the day was done by Atlanta’s 29-run night.

Part of the reason why the Brewers’ big afternoon was so incredible was because it was so unexpected. The team has struggled mightily offensively from the word “go” this year, barely able to scrape together a few extra-base hits in a game — let alone 13.

So it’s probably no surprise, given those struggles and the small sample size that is the 2020 season, that the Brewers’ offensive output on Wednesday made for a big improvement in the team’s season numbers.

Heading into Wednesday’s game, Brewers batters had a total fWAR of just 2.2. They were hitting .221/.312/.378 as a team, with a .302 wOBA and a wRC+ of just 84.

None of that is good, in case you weren’t aware.

But after 19 runs on 21 hits, including 8 doubles and 5 home runs? Well, things are looking a little better. They’re still in the bottom third of the league, mind you, but they’re no longer ranking as a bottom 2 or 3 offense.

In a testament to the power of small samples, a single day has meant gaining 1.5 fWAR, a batting line that’s improved to .229/.321/.398, a .313 wOBA and a 92 wRC+.

The fun continues at the individual level, too.

Before Wednesday, Luis Urias was hitting .269/.345/.321. After Wednesday, he’s now hitting .286/.355/.357.

Orlando Arcia went from .234/.311/.355 to .257/.328/.381.

Jedd Gyorko went from .283/.367/.585 to .293/.379/.672.

Avisail Garcia went from .227/.336/.336 to .237/.351/.360.

Tyrone Taylor went from .125/.125/.250 to .385/.429/.846.

Of course, the old saying goes “momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher,” and the Brewers could easily go back to struggling on Friday night against the Chicago Cubs. But at least for one day, we got a glimpse of what a lot of people thought this Brewers’ offense could be — not necessarily scoring 19 runs in a single game, but a lineup in which everyone could do some damage.

We may never see it again this year, but at least this flukey season now has a flukey memory we can take from it.

Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs