The official records of baseball will show that Ryan Dempster picked up the save in the Cubs’ 3-2 win over Pissburgh, but anyone who saw the game knows that Henry Blanco should have gotten credit for it. Not only is Hank hot at the plate (he’s two for his last five), but he came into the game in the bottom of the ninth just after the Cubs had taken a 3-2 lead and he somehow steered Dempster through an inning in which Dempster gave up a double, a walk and Jerry Hairston committed an error. The Pirates didn’t score and the Cubs held on.
The key moment came in the seconds after Jose Macias had fielded a throw from Dempster that forced Tike Redman at third for the inning’s first out. Macias then threw the ball in the general direction of the Allegheny River. Hairston made a nice leaping catch to save an error (because Jerry wanted to boot the next one). Dempster, obviously rattled needed somebody to calm him down. Hank came out and said this,
“Hey mang, why do the little man from the Sol Times always say you run around nekkid? That’s crazy.”
Dempster induced weak grounders out of the next two hitters, Matt Lawton (Hairston punted it to load the bases) and Jack Wilson (6-4-3 DP) to end the game. Hank was mobbed by his teammates who carried off the field.
Actually they carried him off the field because he had fallen asleep between the mound and home plate.