Manager Dale Sveum says Darwin Barney can be .300 hitter
BY NEIL HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org August 26, 2012 9:50PM
The facts: 7:05, CSN, 720-AM.
The starters: Marco Estrada (1-5, 4.23 ERA) vs. Justin Germano (2-3, 5.40).
THE REST OF THE SERIES
Tuesday: 7:05 p.m., Ch. 9, 720-AM. Yovani Gallardo (13-8, 3.62) vs. Travis Wood (4-10, 4.76).
Wednesday: 7:05 p.m., CSN, 720-AM. Mike Fiers (7-6, 2.98) vs. Jeff Samardzija (8-11, 4.09).
Thursday: 1:20 p.m., CSN, 720-AM. Shaun Marcum (5-4, 3.19) vs. Brooks Raley (1-2, 6.64).
Updated: September 28, 2012 6:18AM
Darwin Barney’s soft single to center gave him his second RBI of the game, and it meant the extra work he put in on a recent day off paid dividends.
“The season is only seven months long,” Barney said Sunday. “Why would you want to waste a day?”
Barney has a franchise- record 110-game errorless streak at second base. His last error came in the eighth inning of a game against the Miami Marlins on April 17. He had been on a tear at the plate, as well, hitting .340 in 14 games from July 29 through Aug. 13, before he began struggling.
Starlin Castro doubled and scored on Barney’s fielder’s choice in the second, and the Cubs added a run in the sixth when Barney’s single scored Castro again.
“It was good to finally produce a little bit,” he said. “In those situations where you have easy RBI with a man on third, you have to keep it simple and put the ball in play.”
The Cubs blew it open with three runs in the eighth before the game was delayed because of rain for the second time.
Manager Dale Sveum believes Barney can develop into a .300 hitter.
“He knows some of the adjustments he has to make to get some things working on the backside where he can get some length through the strike zone with his bat,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘His hand-eye coordination, the strength, the hand speed, it should play into a .290-to-.310 hitter someday.”
Sveum has been impressed with what he has seen from young left-handers Chris Rusin and Brooks Raley of late. Both rookies turned in solid efforts and likely will be given a chance to keep proving themselves during the last month of the season.
Raley pitched five innings, giving up five hits and two runs, in a 4-3 loss Saturday. He has been solid in three of four starts and is 1-2 with a 6.64 ERA. Rusin made his major-league debut Tuesday against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park, allowing only an infield single in five innings. He also tripled in his first at-bat.
“They have been put in a situation where they have had to come up here and perform, and they have done a nice job,” Sveum said. “The bottom line with guys like that is they have to learn to get through a lineup the second time a team faces them and to make the adjustments after major-league hitters have seen you a couple of times.’’