After an unusual experience in his debut as a manager in the National League Saturday at Chicago, Gene Michael said: "This is a tough league."
Michael not only lost his debut when slump-ridden Tommy Herr hit his second home run of the season in the second inning to give the St. Louis Cardinals a 1-0 victory, he was thrown out of the game.
It was an automatic ejection. After a Ray Burris pitch sent Cub catcher Jody Davis sprawling in the sixth inning, Scott Sanderson, who had retired 14 batters in a row, flattened Terry Pendleton on an 0-and-2 pitch to start the seventh.
Umpire Eric Gregg threw Sanderson out. Under the circumstances, the manager is also thrown out. There had been bad blood last week between the clubs in St. Louis when Cardinal reliever Greg Bargar hit shortstop Shawon Dunston. Both clubs were warned about beanballs before the first game Friday.
"My judgment was Burris' pitch wasn't intentional at all," Gregg said. "The Cardinal catcher yelled at Davis to get down. They pitch Jody inside.
"Sanderson's pitch came to the first batter he faced after the pitch to Davis. When you throw at a batter's feet, it's one thing, but when you throw at the head, common sense takes over."
Sanderson, the tough-luck loser, wasn't happy with Gregg's decision.
"He (Gregg) said that Burris was not trying to brush Jody," Sanderson said. "I don't see how he can read one mind and not another. It's his job to decide. I threw a fastball inside on an 0-and-2 count. If you can't throw inside, then you're taking a lot of liberty away from the pitcher."
Michael had planned on a relaxing summer as a coach for the New York Yankees. After being fired twice as manager of the Yankees, he wasn't anxious to manage again.
When the Cubs made an offer, the challenge was too much to pass up, he said.
"I had to think about it. I didn't know if I wanted to manage again. I know I wouldn't for George (owner Steinbrenner of the Yankees). I love the guy, but when I managed his club, we'd get into arguments."
"I don't know this league," he said, "but I'm finding out in a hurry."
Michael, who took over Saturday for Jim Frey, who was released Thursday, was told before the game about the pre-series warning.
"But I didn't know I would go, too," he said. "I had forgotten about how the rule goes. This is a tough way to start out. But I saw some good battles at the plate. I like that."
Herr's home run was the second and last hit off Sanderson before he was ejected. The other hit was Mike McGee's single in the first. Herr, who hit .301 and drove in 110 runs last season, entered the game with a .187 average. The home run was only the 18th for the Cardinals.
Burris, who gave up five hits in eight innings, was the winner. Todd Worrell got the last three outs, two of them on strikeouts.
With the wind blowing in at Wrigley Field, the Cardinals and Cubs have scored only seven runs in three games.
New York 5, Pittsburgh 1--When it is Sid Fernandez's turn to pitch, there are three things that almost always happen: He strikes out a bunch, he walks several and he needs help from the bullpen.
In this game at New York, Fernandez struck out a bunch (eight), but the other two things failed to happen. He walked only one and pitched a complete game. It was only the fourth time he had gone the distance in 53 starts for the Mets.
"I didn't throw too many breaking pitches," said Fernandez after his three-hitter. "Mostly fastballs and changeups. The team scores a lot of runs for me. It's a lot easier pitching with big leads. I really don't worry about going the distance. I just try to win."
Keith Hernandez and Len Dykstra each contributed run-scoring singles in the five-run second inning that made it easy for Fernandez.
Cincinnati 2, Atlanta 1--It was only a single by Eric Davis to open the ninth inning at Atlanta, but his speed turned it into the winning run.
Davis took second on Buddy Bell's sacrifice in the 1-1 game, then stole third and raced home when the throw trickled away from shortstop Rafael Ramirez, who was covering third on the play.
"Eric got a great jump, and (catcher Ozzie) Virgil didn't have a chance," Red Manager Pete Rose said. "He's a great weapon to have."
Ron Robinson (4-0) picked up the victory, pitching 2 scoreless innings. Although he didn't figure in the decision, Mario Soto pitched six strong innings in only his second start since coming off the disabled list. He gave up five hits and struck out five. He also drove in the Reds' first run with a ground-out in the fifth.
Houston 7, San Francisco 3--Phil Garner made his 100th career home run a memorable one. It came with the bases loaded in the seventh inning at Houston and helped the Astros extend their lead in the West to three games.
Glenn Davis hit a two-run triple in the first inning to highlight a three-run rally, but by the seventh the lead was only 3-2.
Billy Hatcher's single and two walks off Greg Minton loaded the bases, and Garner greeted Jeff Robinson with the homer.
Philadelphia 7, Montreal 6--Darren Daulton had three singles, drove in two runs and scored another at Philadelphia as the Phillies dropped the Expos 10 games behind the Mets in the East.
The Phillies built a 7-4 lead, but the Expos scored in the seventh and eighth and had Tim Raines on second in the ninth with one out. Steve Bedrosian, who has become the Phillies' bullpen ace, was summoned to the rescue.
Bedrosian struck out Hubie Brooks, who had three hits, then got Tim Wallach on a fly to right to end it.
Raines had two singles and stole two bases. In the last 52 games, Raines has been on base 105 times.