Blanco accepts blame for missed sign
Catcher says at-bat could have changed Thursday's loss
CHICAGO -- Cubs catcher Henry Blanco took the blame for a botched play in Thursday's game.
In the fourth inning against the Cincinnati Reds, the Cubs had runners at first and second and none out and were trailing, 3-1. Blanco, who was batting eighth, tried to bunt, a play that didn't make sense, especially with pitcher Ted Lilly hitting behind him.
Blanco eventually struck out on his third bunt attempt, Lilly then sacrificed the runners over, and Mike Fontenot lined out to end the inning. The Cubs lost the game, 9-3.
"I missed the sign," Blanco said Friday. "I'm not going to give you any excuses, nothing like that. I missed a sign. It was a bad play."
After the game, Cubs third-base coach Mike Quade said they "miscommunicated on the first pitch of the at-bat."
"Henry is one of the most reliable guys on this club, and he doesn't miss signs," Quade said. "He gets everything. He executes the hit-and-run, the squeeze -- he does all that. I probably took for granted that he was bunting on his own, maybe Lou had put something on. After two or three pitches in the at-bat, I have to go see him, but I trusted him so much, I didn't. That entire at-bat, to me, was confused by the very first sign."
Blanco felt bad about the mistake.
"I think it would [have changed the game]," Blanco said. "We would've pitched differently -- I think it changed the whole game. If I get the sign, and get the bunt down, we might have tied the game.
"This game always teaches you something," he said. "I hope we all learn from that and it doesn't happen again."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.