8/29 Barney sets NL mark
Darwin Barney set a National League single-season record for consecutive games without an error by a second baseman, playing in game No. 114. He topped the mark of 113 games, set by the Padres’ David Eckstein in 2010.
However, the Cubs’ second baseman’s streak nearly ended. With the game tied at 1 and one out in the Brewers seventh, Nyjer Morgan bunted for a base hit and was safe at second on Jeff Samardzija’s throwing error. Morgan advanced on a wild pitch, and scored on Jean Segura’s single to center.
One out later, Segura stole second and moved up on a throwing error by catcher Welington Castillo. Barney retrieved the ball in shallow center and threw to third, trying to get Segura. The throw was low but hit third baseman Luis Valbuena’s glove. Segura scored, and official scorer Bob Rosenberg originally charged Barney with an error. After reviewing the play, Rosenberg changed his call, and gave the error to Valbuena, his seventh this season. He’s no threat to Barney. Valbuena had played just seven error-free games since his last mistake.
The American League single-season errorless streak record for a second baseman is held by Placido Polanco, who went 141 games without a miscue in 2007 for the Tigers.
“He’s gone far and above preparation on an everyday basis to make himself better,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Barney, who leads NL second basemen in fielding percentage. “It all started in Spring Training, the hours he put in and the extra time and the adjustments he made around the bag on the pivot, understanding about when he moves left and right, and using his glove and taking his bare hand out of the equation to get him more length through certain ground balls and angles and positioning.
“He’s made a conscious effort to be the best in baseball on an everyday basis,” Sveum said. “Not one day have I seen him take any ground balls off or take any days off. It’s been the same routine, same intensity every single day for him.”
Gold Glove anyone?
— Carrie Muskat