9/29 Barney: “I had to make that throw”
And on the day after he made only his second error of the season, Darwin Barney rested. He did not start Saturday, one day after being charged with an error to end his streak of mistake-free games at 141, which ties a Major League single-season record for second basemen set in 2007 by Placido Polanco. Barney was three outs away from setting the mark before he was charged with a throwing error in the eighth inning Friday against the Diamondbacks.
“I had to make that throw,” Barney said Saturday. “The one thing I questioned myself on after it happened was if I had rushed it, and after looking at [the replay], I didn’t rush it. I had the chance to make that play and if the ball is on line, then [the runner is] out.”
His approach through the entire streak was to play aggressive and try to make plays.
“You just can’t hold the ball because of [trying to get a record],” he said.
Rookie first baseman Anthony Rizzo seemed more upset than Barney at the play because he wasn’t able to pick up the throw.
“I think there were a lot of emotions that a lot of these guys have probably never had on the baseball side of things,” manager Dale Sveum said. “As soon as he made that error, you could hear a pin drop. You couldn’t believe it happened, especially that way. Everyone was quiet and reflected on what went on and obviously the emotions carried on after the game as well.”
Rizzo stood by Barney during his post-game media session. Sveum said that just shows the type of player Rizzo is.
“There’s no blame in anything like that,” Sveum said. “It’s probably one of the most unfortunate things I’ve ever been a part of in baseball for something like that come to an end. A first baseman expects to pick a ball like that. He’ll probably pick 99 percent of them. The ball hopped over his glove, and he thought he had it and couldn’t believe it didn’t go in his glove. It’s very unfortunate.”
Barney’s bid for a Major League record fell short but he does own all National League records for consecutive error-less games at second base, having surpassed Ryne Sandberg’s former record 123-game error-less streak, allowing for multiple seasons, that ran from June 21, 1989-May 17, 1990. David Eckstein owned the previous NL single-season mark of 113-consecutive games set with San Diego in 2010.
Barney got a text message from Sandberg after game No. 124 of the streak. He received a few more texts from family and friends on Friday.
“It’s crazy to be a part of that with Polanco,” Barney said. “We were talking, and maybe something happened that was really special on Polanco’s run that he was supposed to keep it. Baseball’s a funny game that way.
“I feel blessed and fortunate to be a part of it with him,” Barney said. “It’s one of those things. Baseball’s a funny game that way. What are the odds of it happening on that day? It did. You’ll look back on it like it was supposed to happen.”
– Carrie Muskat