9/28 Barney & Rizzo
Nobody felt worse for Darwin Barney than Anthony Rizzo. In the eighth inning Friday, Barney tried to make an off-balance throw to Rizzo to get Justin Upton but the ball hit the dirt and bounced past Rizzo. Upton was credited with a hit but there was a runner at second and he scored on an error. It was Barney’s first miscue in 141 games, and instead of setting a Major League record, he finishes tied with Placido Polanco for most error-free games in a single season.
“That’s probably the sickest feeling that I think I’ve had in the game besides a couple playoff losses when you know you’re going home,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “It’s wow, you can’t believe it. Some things you can’t understand in this world and in life, period. That one is unbelievable to happen in the [eighth] inning and a play like that. It wasn’t even an error — it was an error because a guy advanced on a base hit that got away from the first baseman.”
Said Rizzo: “It’s one of those things, I think I should have had.”
Said Barney: “I knew immediately that it was an error. Honestly, there were no real thoughts at that particular moment going through my mind.”
Did Barney consider holding onto the ball?
“No, I’ve got to make that play,” Barney said. “It was 5-3 at the time. We’re in that ballgame. My job is to make plays regardless of taking risk and I think I’ve done that through this whole little run. That’s just how you play the game. You can’t hold that ball right there.”
Rizzo stood beside Barney as he met with the media post game. The two had been sequestered in a corner of the clubhouse with a few other teammates, commiserating.
“First off, what he’s done is incredible,” Rizzo said of Barney. “That play up the middle — incredible play, fearless, which he’s done all year. That’s the type of player Barney is. That’s why everyone was so upset. For me, it could turn into a positive. Everyone’s closer. I feel a lot of emotion right now.”
Actually, Rizzo felt ill after the play happened and the “E” flashed on the scoreboard.
“Rizzo wanted to throw up,” Barney said. “Both of us were talking about how we didn’t want another ball [hit to them].”
— Carrie Muskat