Results tagged ‘ Darwin Barney ’
The Cubs’ Darwin Barney leads all National League second basemen in fielding percentage, which would make him the favorite to repeat as Gold Glove winner at that position. Barney just hasn’t gotten as much attention about his defensive play this year because he isn’t pursuing the Major League record for error-free games.
Last year, Barney tied the Major League single-season record with 141 consecutive errorless games at second, and won his first Rawlings Gold Glove.
“He hasn’t done anything for anybody to take it away from him,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of his second baseman. “He’s had a heck of a year defensively again. The way he turns a double play, tough double plays, he’s the incumbent and somebody has to take it away from him. I don’t see anybody doing that.”
Barney leads NL second basemen with a .993 fielding percentage; the Twins’ Brian Dozier and the Red Sox’s Dustin Pedroia lead the Majors with a .994 figure. Barney has been charged with four errors in 123 games, one more than he made in 155 games last season.
He’s not flashy but will likely face competition from the Reds’ Brandon Phillips, the Pirates’ Neil Walker and the Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter.
“Sometimes people do things without having ‘web gems’ and that’s why they’re the best at their positions,” Sveum said.
Barney was tied with the Braves’ Dan Uggla for fifth in most double plays (68), and was fourth in putouts.
“It’s definitely a goal of mine every year to win a Gold Glove,” Barney said. “I don’t think it’s my No. 1 goal. My No. 1 goal is to win 90, 95 games and make the playoffs.
“On a personal level, having the season I’ve had defensively this year, if I don’t win the Gold Glove, I’d still be satisfied and feel I helped the team defensively,” he said. “Leading the league in defense at second base is something I take pride in.”
He’s aware that there are players who make more acrobatic plays.
“The coaches and managers vote,” Barney said. “They’re players. They understand. I don’t think they’re going to vote someone in because they make ‘web gems,’ they’ll vote someone in who deserves the award. If someone else wins, that person deserved the award among their peers, and that’s fine with me.
“Last year with the [error-less] streak, there was a lot to be talked about,” Barney said. “This year, it’s one of those years where it’s a normal year. There’s no streak. It’s been a good year and every error could be prevented and I’ll look back on the film on the ones I’ve made and not let them happen again.”
– Carrie Muskat
Darwin Barney still has a bat autographed by his former Triple-A manager, Ryne Sandberg. The current Cubs second baseman also remembers all the lessons he learned from the former one, now a Hall of Famer and back at Wrigley Field as the Phillies interim manager.
“I admired the way he prepared for the game every day, his intensity, the way baseball was his life,” Barney said Friday. “He went about it the right way and respected it where he’s like, ‘I’ll start in the Minor Leagues and won’t try to jump on with a buddy and be a bench coach.’ He wanted to learn how to manage. The way he went about his business every day and the way he helped me out before games at second base [was huge].”
Sandberg spent four seasons in the Cubs organization as a Minor League manager, and was passed over the big league job twice. He then left to manage in the Phillies’ system, and was on the big league team’s coaching staff this year. When Charlie Manuel was dismissed, Sandberg took over the Phillies.
Barney was Iowa’s starting shortstop but passed over when the Cubs promoted Starlin Castro from Double-A Tennessee in May 2010. Barney went to Sandberg because he wanted to know what to do to get that call. Sandberg and Barney began working at second base before games three times a week at home and on the road.
“I was fortunate to have a good relationship with him,” Barney said. “The ability to communicate with him was very helpful.”
Dale Sveum could relate to Sandberg’s interim status. Sveum was the Brewers’ interim manager for 12 games in 2008.
“The biggest thing is we’re probably taking over in the same kind of way,” said Sveum, hired as the Cubs manager prior to the 2012 season. “I took over as interim with 12 games. He’s got a couple months, six weeks. As a coach, you’ve got your own little world, and then all of a sudden, you have everybody’s little world, all 25 players, and the game management as well. You have so many responsbilities as well as the media as well as the game management as well as managing 25 players.”
Sveum said he didn’t even think about being an “interim” manager. He was the manager.
“You’re just managing at that time, you don’t worry about any tag,” he said. “You have a job to do and that’s all you can do.”
Sveum expected the Wrigley Field crowd to give Sandberg a nice welcome.
“A guy coming back to a place where he was a Hall of Famer, he deserves a lot of attention,” Sveum said. “He had a heck of a career here in Chicago. On the field, off the field, he was the ultimate professional and deserves all the attention he’s going to get. He’s one of the best players of all time.”
– Carrie Muskat
The best thing about the eighth inning Saturday night wasn’t that Jeff Samardzija escaped a bases-loaded, none out mess, giving up only one run, but that manager Dale Sveum left the right-hander alone to figure it out. Samardzija struck out seven over eight innings and Darwin Barney smacked a solo home run and a RBI double to lead the Cubs to a 3-2 victory over the Padres at PETCO Park and even the series.
Samardzija scattered seven hits and walked two. He now has totaled 176 innings this year, passing his personal high of 174 1/3 innings set last season, his first as a starter. The right-hander also is closing in on his single-season strikeout high of 180, set last season. He has fanned 175 this year.
His biggest K was his last one. Trailing 3-1, Padres pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay walked to open the eighth and Will Venable singled. Alexi Amarista then delivered what Sveum called “the most perfect bunt” toward third, with the ball just staying fair as catcher Dioner Navarro, third baseman DOnnie Murphy and Samardzija watched it roll. With the bases loaded, Yonder Alonso hit a sacrifice fly. One out later, the runners moved up on a passed ball. Chase Headley was then intentionally walked, but Samardzija struck out Forsythe to end the inning.
“That’s why you leave a guy like that in the game,” Sveum said of Samardzija. “Getting strike one for him is huge. When he gets that, those are usually all his good games.”
Neither Sveum nor pitching coach Chris Bosio went to the mound in the eighth to calm Samardzija down. They’ve had to do so a few times this season when he gets in what Sveum calls “gorilla” mode. Was Samardzija surprised Sveum left him in there?
“I wasn’t,” Samardzija said. “Me and Dale might have had a meeting down there in the dugout if he had taken me out. That’s what Dale is all about. Dale’s all about putting confidence in his players. He lets our hitters swing in bunt situations, he lets our pitchers hit.
“There are a lot of under the radar things that he does that puts confidence in the players and he did it for me there, too,” Samardzija said. “He didn’t come out and have a mound visit or anything. As a player, that says a lot. You’re out there understanding this is your inning, your game. You don’t want to waste that or give it back, and you want to say, ‘Hey, I appreciate that and I’m going to do good work for you.’”
Samardzija is one win shy of his career high of nine set last season, when he was shut down early after reaching his innings limit.
The Cubs have been trying to find a No. 4 hitter now that Alfonso Soriano is gone. What about Barney?
“No chance,” he said. “After I hit the homer, I told [Donnie Murphy],’ I ‘Murphied’ that ball. We’ll let him continue to do that, and I’ll take my singles.”
– Carrie Muskat
Jake Arrieta struck out seven over seven scoreless innings and drove in a run Friday and Nate Schierholtz knocked in three runs to lift the Cubs to a 7-0 victory over the Cardinals and even their season series at 7. This was Arrieta’s second start with the Cubs and 65th in the Major Leagues. Acquired July 2 from the Orioles in the Scott Feldman deal, he had started the second game of a July 30 doubleheader against the Brewers, and gave up one run on two hits over six innings. Before that game, the right-hander said he wasn’t going back to the Minor Leagues but he did, and made two more starts for Triple-A Iowa. Now, the Cubs want to see what Arrieta can do in the final six weeks of the season. The Orioles’ Opening Day starter in 2012, he gave up an infield single by Carlos Beltran in the second that Arrieta knocked down, and a ground rule double by Carlos Beltran with one out in the seventh, and that was it.
Jake Westbrook walked the first three Cubs batters in the first, and Schierholtz followed with a two-run single. After Welington Castillo grounded into a double play, Donnie Murphy hit a RBI single for a 3-0 lead. In the fifth, Schierholtz added a sacrifice fly. Murphy was hit by a pitch to start the sixth, and one out later, scored on Darwin Barney’s double. Barney eventually scored on Arrieta’s sacrifice for his second career RBIs, and 25th by a Cubs pitcher, tops in the National League.
The Cardinals, who lead the NL Wild Card standings, may have been a little weary after a tough series against the Pirates, which included two extra inning games, both St. Louis wins. Westbrook was pulled after throwing 124 pitches over 6 2/3 innings.
– Carrie Muskat
When the Cubs played in Philadelphia earlier this month, Darwin Barney talked to Ryne Sandberg about his future. At the time, Sandberg, who had been Barney’s Minor League manager for two seasons in the Cubs organization, was the Phillies third base coach.
“We talked about what his future was there and obviously, he was optimistic but he wasn’t at all thinking that it’s his job,” Barney said about the Phillies managerial job. “He was just happy to be at the big league level and obviously, very humble. I think it happened a little quicker than I thought. Good for him. I think there are good things to come.”
What happened on Friday was Sandberg’s promotion from coach to big league manager, replacing the Phillies’ Charlie Manuel as the interim manager for the remainder of the season.
Barney didn’t know about the news until after Friday’s Cubs game.
“I’m really happy for him,” Barney said. “He’s done every step to get there. He didn’t cut any corners, he didn’t hop on with a buddy at the big league level. He wanted to be a manager and he wanted to learn how to manage in the Minor Leagues, and watching his growth every year was kind of fun.
“I know it’s only an ‘interim’ in front of his name, but I think he’s going to do a good job and hopefully he can hold onto that job.”
Sandberg, who played 15 seasons with the Cubs, spent four years as a Minor League manager in their organization, beginning at Class A Peoria in 2007. Barney was on the team at the time, and learned a lot from the Hall of Fame second baseman.
“The main thing was his competitive nature and the way he prepared for every game, even as a manager,” Barney said. “He didn’t say too much when things weren’t needed to be said. When he did say things, you definitely listened because it was very timely and to the point. I think he became a players’ manager pretty quick. He’s a guy you think about and you want to go to battle with him.”
Sandberg, named the Pacific Coast League manager of the year in 2010, made it clear he wanted to manage the big league Cubs but then GM Jim Hendry bypassed him in 2011 and hired Mike Quade, who was dismissed after one season.
Sandberg endured the bus rides and the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and the long hours required of a Minor League manager. He didn’t shy from the chores just because he was enshrined in Cooperstown.
“[Being a Hall of Famer] was the last thing on his mind,” Barney said. “One of the things I thought when he left the Cubs organization was that maybe that will help him because now he’s not Ryne Sandberg, Hall of Fame second baseman for the Chicago Cubs, but now he’s Ryne Sandberg, the manager. I think that paid dividends in the end. I wish him the best of luck.”
– Carrie Muskat
Junior Lake, Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney are all sitting Wednesday in the Cubs’ series finale against the Reds. Starter Chris Rusin is ready. He tweeted today: “It’s wins day! Haaa #daygame”
Here’s the lineup:
* After going 6-4 in their first 10 games after the All-Star break, the Cubs have gone 4-12 in their last 16 games. The Cubs had a 3.44 ERA in the first 10 games of the “second half” but have a 4.72 ERA in their last 16 games. Also, they’ve batted .227 in their first 10 games after the break and hit .231 in their last 16 games.
– Carrie Muskat
If you’re one of the fans who has been yelling at Dale Sveum to pinch-hit for Darwin Barney, the Cubs manager has heard you. And he’s not going to do it.
“It’s hard for me to ever [pinch-hit for him] because the guy gives you a battle up there and he’ll put the ball in play in situations,” Sveum said Sunday of the second baseman. “He’s gotten some big hits for us. He’s just a guy who you know is going to battle and [against a pitcher with] velocity, he’ll put it in play and give you a great at-bat.”
Barney entered Sunday’s game against the Cardinals batting .212 overall, but he’s hitting .255 with runners in scoring position with two outs, and .278 in close and late situations. On Saturday, he delivered a game-tying two-run double with two outs in the eighth, and then scored on pinch-hitter Dioner Navarro’s RBI double.
“It’s not like [Barney] is a major power, RBI guy,” Sveum said, “but when you’re in situations, there are certain guys you like up there because they’re better in situations. All you need is for the ball to hit the outfield grass and that’s why you stick with guys like that. You don’t need something huge, just to have the ball hit the outfield grass.”
It’s been a tough year for Barney, who batted .276 in 2011. Sveum worked with Barney in Arizona in the offseason for a few days but admitted on Sunday that the second baseman “didn’t really stick with that too much.”
Now, the Cubs are hoping Barney and others can wrap up the season on a good note.
“You’d like everybody to finish strong for the team’s sake, for their own sake, for their own sanity sometimes going into the winter,” Sveum said. “There’s that saying, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish, and that’s true in a lot of situations.”
– Carrie Muskat
Manager Dale Sveum only needed to see two things from Dioner Navarro on Saturday to know whether his backup catcher and top bench player was able to play three days after being carted off the field.
“Just walk and squat,” Sveum said of the requirements. “One time was fine enough.”
Navarro also was ready to hit. Darwin Barney smacked a game-tying two-run double in the eighth and Navarro followed with a pinch-hit RBI double to lift the Cubs to a motivated 6-5 victory over the Cardinals.
Nate Schierholtz delivered a RBI single in the ninth, which turned out to be much needed as Matt Holliday hit his second home run of the game in the St. Louis ninth off Kevin Gregg. Welington Castillo hit a solo home run and sacrifice fly for the Cubs, who came into this series with a few more incentives than past matchups. Adam Wainwright was originally scheduled to start Saturday but was skipped so he could be ready for St. Louis’ upcoming series against Pittsburgh. The Cubs felt snubbed.
“If you look at it from their point of view, you don’t really try to take offense to that kind of stuff,” Barney said. “Obviously, we knew what happened, and it wasn’t not talked about, I’ll say that. That young kid [Michael Wacha] threw well today and he has good stuff. It’s not like they were throwing a nobody against us. It’s one of those things.”
Wacha, making his fourth big league start, served up Castillo’s home run leading off the Chicago second. Holliday belted a three-run homer off Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva with one out in the fourth to go ahead, 3-1. Castillo added a sacrifice fly in the fifth but Matt Carpenter and Carlos Beltran hit back to back doubles in the sixth to take a 4-2 lead.
In the eighth, Trevor Rosenthal walked Castillo and Schierholtz, then struck out the next two batters. Barney, batting .211, then lined a double to right to drive in both and tie the game.
“People are always, ‘Why don’t you pinch-hit for Barney?’” Sveum said. “It’s because he’s the one guy who is going to battle and put the ball in play and do baseball player-type things.”
Navarro arrived in St. Louis about five hours before game time. He injured his right ankle in a collision at home plate on Wednesday in Philadelphia with Chase Utley, and had gone to Chicago to be examined. Prior to the game, Navarro had to do some agility drills — as well as walk and squat — and was pronounced fit. He didn’t take batting practice but it didn’t seem to matter as he lined a 97 mph fastball from Rosenthal to right.
“He gets here today,” Barney said, “and he hadn’t taken a swing, he didn’t take batting practice, and he’s one of those guys who’s a gamer. Turn on 98 [mph] like that after not seeing a pitch in three days is pretty unbelievable.”
Blake Parker picked up his first Major League win in relief, and Gregg hung on for his 25th save, and survived David Freese’s liner off his right shoulder.
With the win, the Cubs notched their first series victory at Busch Stadium since sweeping the Cardinals in a three-game set, Sept. 13-15, 2010. The two teams square off next weekend at Wrigley Field. Wainwright’s next start, by the way, is Tuesday against the Pirates.
– Carrie Muskat
Early notes before Sunday’s game:
* The Cubs are 25-29 on the road through 54 games after going 23-58 on the road all last season.
* Including a series win this weekend in San Francisco, the Cubs are 3-1-3 in their last seven series. They will try for their first series sweep in San Francisco since Sept. 13-15, 1993
* Alfonso Soriano was the last player remaining from the 2007 Cubs team that won the NL Central. Jeff Samardzija is the only player remaining from the ’08 team that won 97 games. Samardzija is the only player on the roster to have made his Cubs debut prior to 2010 (not including Kevin Gregg, who departed after 2009 and returned in 2013).
* Only five players on the current 25-man roster were on the 2012 Opening Day roster: Luis Valbuena, Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney, James Russell and Samardzija.
* Nearly half of the players on the current 25-man roster (12) have joined the Cubs since the end of the 2012 campaign.
* Also, 10 players on the current 25-man roster were not on the Cubs 2013 Opening Day roster: pitchers Chris Rusin, Pedro Strop, Blake Parker, Matt Guerrier, Kevin Gregg and Eduardo Sanchez; infielder Cody Ransom; and outfielders Cole Gillespie, Pedro Borbon and Junior Lake.
The Cubs saw first-hand why the Cardinals are the best team in baseball at the All-Star break. St. Louis pounded a season-high 21 hits off the Cubs, including a go-ahead RBI single by Allen Craig with one out in the ninth and a three-run homer by Yadier Molina that inning, to post a 10-6 come from behind victory and split the series.
“That’s a great team over there, from top to bottom, even with [Matt] Holliday out,” Chicago starter and All-Star Travis Wood said. “They’ve got guys stepping in and filling the spots and doing an outstanding job. You’ve got to bring your ‘A’ game every time you face them.”
Wood did just that, holding the Cardinals to three runs over 5 2/3 innings, and falling one out shy of becoming the first Cubs pitcher ever to record 18 quality starts before the All-Star break. His 17 quality starts lead the Majors, and he’s the fourth Cubs pitcher in franchise history to have that many at the break, joining Bill Hands (1969), Fergie Jenkins (1969) and Greg Maddux (1988).
“When a guy has done what Travis has done, that’s our horse, and that’s our most consistent guy,” Dale Sveum said.
Wood reached 100 pitches when he walked Allen Craig with one on and two outs in the fifth. Pedro Strop took over, and needed just one pitch to end the inning, getting David Freese to ground out.
“It was just time,” Sveum said about his decision to pull Wood.
The Cubs needed nearly every pitcher as they tried to keep the Cardinals in check.
Chicago trailed 3-1 in the sixth against All-Star Adam Wainwright when Dioner Navarro and Brian Bogusevic hit back to back singles. One out later, Darwin Barney, who hit a RBI single in the second, launched the first pitch into the basket rimming the left field bleachers for his sixth home run. According to ESPN, the ball traveled 366 feet and would not have gone out of any other Major League ballpark except Wrigley Field.
“Barney’s home run was huge at a huge time,” Sveum said. “We had the bullpen set up. You’ve got to give their hitters a lot of credit. That’s why they’re the best hitting team in baseball. But [Pete] Kozma hits one off his thumbs that bloops in and took the momentum away from us.”
That was part of the Cardinals’ seventh inning rally against Matt Guerrier. Molina doubled and scored one out later on Kozma’s single that dropped over shortstop Starlin Castro. One out later, pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso singled to chase Guerrier, and Matt Carpenter greeted James Russell with a go-ahead RBI single.
Matt Adams added a RBI double in the eighth, driving in David Freese from second. Anthony Rizzo cut off Castro’s relay throw home, cutting off a possible play at the plate.
“I don’t know why he was there,” Sveum said of Rizzo. “That’s not really protocal in our playbook.”
Rizzo said he usually looks behind him to see where the catcher is, but didn’t this time.
“It would’ve been a close play,” Rizzo said.
“That didn’t lose the game for us,” Barney said. “They swung the bats a little better than we did. You can’t take anything away from them or say we did anything wrong. They had more good swings than we did in the end.”
The Cubs did rally again with one out in the eighth as pinch-hitter Cole Gillespie singled in his debut, and one out later, his former Oregon State teammate, Barney, singled, to set up pinch-hitter Cody Ransom’s two-run double off Edward Mujica, named to the All-Star Game late Sunday.
With the game tied at 6 and one out in the St. Louis ninth against Kevin Gregg, Carlos Beltran doubled to right and reached third on an error charged to Dave Sappelt, who lost his footing. Beltran tallied on Craig’s single and Freese then singled to set up Molina’s home run, his seventh.
“Yadi is unbelievable,” Barney said.
The Cubs end the first half 42-51, and 15 games back in the NL Central behind the Cardinals. Wood was given the go-ahead to take part in the All-Star Game. Tuesday would be his side day.
– Carrie Muskat