ou can't send a Ladd to do a man's job.

Tonight in Yankee Stadium, the Milwaukee Brewers, without Rollie Fingers, called on inexperienced reliever Pete Ladd in the 10th inning of a 4-4 tie. The second batter to face Ladd--Jerry Mumphrey--homered over the 385-foot sign in right for a 5-4 New York victory that kept the Brewers' American League East lead at four games over Baltimore.

Fingers, who tore a muscle in his right forearm eight days ago, is still out indefinitely and does not even plan to try to throw softly until Saturday. Three times during his absence the Brewers have faced situations in which Fingers usually lends a hand: they have lost all three.

Mumphrey's blow brought an end to an evening of managerial malfeasance and umpiring blunderings. The Yankees entered the eighth with a 4-0 lead, built around a two-run pop-fly double by Ken Griffey that hit the left field chalk as two Brewers overran the play; the next batter, Dave Winfield, homered.

That should have been enough, except that Interim Manager Clyde King played death-wish baseball by leaving starter Shane Rawley in the eighth as the left-hander allowed a single to Paul Molitor, a walk to Cecil Cooper and a bloop double over first base by Gorman Thomas.

At that point, with lefty Rudy May, the Yankees' hottest pitcher, all warmed up, the obvious move was to have May face the left-handed Ben Oglivie. Instead, King permitted Rawley to face the tying run. Oglivie hit a three run homer.

This night was lowlighted by a sequence of three umpiring calls that, after a slow-motion replay, prompted Yankee owner George Steinbrenner to issue a written statement of outrage. "Other people may not think that we're battling for the pennant anymore, but we are and we are a proud team and we're not out of it until the last dog is dead," he wrote.

"The last dog?" said May. "Which one of us (Yankees) is he talking about now?"