9/9 Barney error-free for 125 games
Darwin Barney isn’t eating the same sandwich each day before a game, or putting his right sock on first, then his left, or making sure he picks the right bubblegum. Whatever Barney is doing is working on the field. The Cubs second baseman extended his error-less streak on Sunday to a National League single-season record 125 straight games. On Saturday, he passed Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg’s overall NL mark of 123, set June 21, 1989, to May 17, 1990. The Major League record single-season error-less streak by a second baseman is 141 games, set by Placido Polanco in 2007 with the Tigers. Barney has enough games remaining that he could catch Polanco.
“I’m just making sure I’m prepared every day,” Barney said. “I don’t eat the same things. I try to eat anything my body will allow me to eat in the morning. You prepare for something like this in spring and stick to those routines and you’ll be ready to play every day.”
Barney, who leads all NL second basemen in fielding percentage at .998, also is not hesitating to make plays because the record is on the line. He’s aggressive, and leads the league in put outs per nine innings this season.
“The only time [the streak] crosses my mind is on a really high pop up,” Barney said. “Then there’s time to think. Besides that, a guy like [Jeff] Samardzija is on the mound, and it’s the seventh, eighth innings and you’re trying to make plays for him. You don’t think about the streak — you reflect after the game.”
Sandberg was Barney’s manager for three seasons in the Cubs Minor League system, and worked with him in the Arizona Fall League. They haven’t communicated.
“At some point, I’ll text Ryno and say thanks,” Barney said.
— Carrie Muskat