Milwaukee Brewers: Top 5 All-Star Game Moments

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Lary Sorensen made his only All-Star Game appearance in 1978, en route to winning 18 games for the first Milwaukee Brewers team to finish with a winning record.

5. Shutdown Sorensen

Lary Sorensen’s 1978 season sort of tracked with the Milwaukee Brewers that year—a wildly successful season that sort of came out of nowhere.

Sorensen was an eighth-round pick in the June 1976 amateur draft out of the University of Michigan and no one expected he would make his major league debut less than a year later—June 7, 1977.

But Sorensen was up-and-down with the Brewers in 1977, going 7-10 with a 4.36 ERA and 1.286 WHIP in 142.1 innings as Milwaukee wrapped up their eighth straight losing season since coming to Wisconsin in 1970, going 67-95 and finishing sixth in the AL East.

But Sorensen had a terrific first half for the Brewers, going 11-5 with a 3.19 ERA and 1.174 WHIP in 19 starts, working 155 innings. He was never a strikeout guy, with just 50 at the break, but he just was getting guys out and was durable, completing 11 of his first 19 starts.

And the Brewers were a surprising 48-35 in the first half, nine games behind the ridiculously hot Boston Red Sox in the AL East.

Sorensen came on to start the bottom of the fourth inning for the American League at San Diego Stadium in 1978, with the game tied 3-3 after the NL erupted for three runs off starter Jim Palmer of the Baltimore Orioles.

Sorensen surrendered a single to the first batter he faced, Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Larry Bowa.

And then, nothing.

Reggie Smith and Pete Rose flew out. Joe Morgan popped up. Inning over.

In the fifth, Sorensen got George Foster, Greg Luzinski and Steve Garvey to roll over ground balls. Inning over.

In the sixth, Sorensen got Ted Simmons to fly out, induced a grounder from Dave Winfield and got Bowa to hit a soft liner to right. Inning over.

Nine in a row set down by Sorensen, who was lifted for a pinch-hitter—Brewers teammate Larry Hisle—in the top of the seventh.

The NL scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth off New York Yankees closer Rich Gossage and won 7-3, but Sorensen did his job and did it well, keeping the AL in the game.

Sorensen ended the season with an 18-12 record, a 3.21 ERA and 1.165 WHIP in 36 starts and 280.2 innings and even earned a save in his lone relief appearance. The Brewers finished third but won a then-franchise record 93 games.

It would be Sorensen’s only All-Star appearance in an 11-year career that included stints with the St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs, Montreal Expos and San Francisco Giants.

He won 52 of his 93 career games, though, in his four years with Milwaukee.