Baysox fall as pitching plan falters

August 19, 1994|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Sun Staff Writer

BOWIE -- At least Bowie Baysox pitcher Brian Sackinsky got a good night's sleep.

Instead of subjecting him to the grueling 10 1/2 -hour, nightlong bus ride from Portland, Maine, after the final game of the road trip, the Baysox let him remain behind in his hotel room.

The idea was that he would fly home yesterday in Baysox owner Peter Kirk's private plane, rested for his start against the Albany Yankees.

The well-intentioned plan disintegrated.

Even before it took off, Kirk's plane developed mechanical trouble. Kirk and Sackinsky resorted to a commercial flight only to have it delayed by weather. They arrived at BWI at 4 p.m. and were delayed another hour when the door to the hangar housing Kirk's car jammed.

Sackinsky didn't arrive at the park until almost 6 p.m. The team bus had arrived at 8:30 a.m.

"I've seen it work both ways when a club tries to rest a pitcher that way," Baysox manager Pete Mackanin said. "But mostly he loses in spite of it."

Lose Sackinsky (9-7) did, although he allowed only two runs in seven innings in the Baysox's 3-0 loss (despite nine hits) to Albany before 10,635 at Prince George's Stadium. The only hit of note of the five Sackinsky allowed was Andy Fox's bases-empty home run.

As the Baysox steam toward a date with the Harrisburg Senators in the Double-A Eastern League playoffs, Mackanin is cautioned by history. In the past, when his club had about clinched a playoff spot, he gave subs more at-bats and rested starters.

Wrong, he discovered. Especially in view of the fact that the Baysox, second to Harrisburg in the Southern Division, were coming off an 8-2 road trip and entered last night's game with a six-game winning streak.

"We're on a roll, and winning's contagious," Mackanin said. "Even though we've almost clinched a playoff spot, you can't turn it on and off. You can lose it in a hurry."

The season has been everything general manager Keith Lupton hoped it would be.

The Baysox lead the league in hitting at .282 and are third in pitching with a 3.64 ERA. Closers Armando Benitez and Joe Borowski have been effective. The bullpen has allowed three runs in its last 35 2/3 innings.

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