Darwin Barney’s errorless streak at secondover at 141 games
BY GORDON WITTENMYER email@example.com September 29, 2012 12:36AM
The facts: 7:10, Ch. 9, 720-AM.
The starters: Justin Germano (2-9, 6.18 ERA) vs. Trevor Cahill (12-12, 3.86).
Updated: November 5, 2012 11:53PM
PHOENIX — It lasted 141 games over 162 days — longer than Ian Stewart’s and Alex Hinshaw’s days in a Cubs uniform combined.
And in the heat of the desert, in the eighth inning of the Cubs’ 157th game, Darwin Barney made an error at second base to snap a 141-game streak that tied Placido Polanco for the longest at the position in major-league history for a season.
‘‘That’s probably the sickest feeling I’ve ever had in the game except for a couple of playoff games where you knew you were going home,’’ manager Dale Sveum said.
When Arizona’s Justin Upton grounded a ball toward the middle with none out and Aaron Hill at second, Barney gloved it behind second and flung an off-balance throw to first that skipped under Anthony Rizzo’s glove.
Upton was awarded a hit, but when Hill was able to continue around third and score, Barney got an error. It was his first at second base since the eighth inning April 17 in Miami. He also committed a throwing error July 6 in New York while playing shortstop.
Polanco owns the overall second-base streak of 186 errorless games (2006-08).
Injured right-hander Matt Garza hasn’t thrown a baseball in more than two months, and the stress reaction near his pitching elbow hasn’t completely healed.
But Garza is working out, traveling with the team and has no concerns about being at full strength for the start of spring training.
‘‘I’m completely confident, and I have no doubt in my mind I’m going to be ready,’’ Garza said. ‘‘And I’ll be in way better shape.’’
The Cubs aren’t sure when he’ll start a throwing program but say they’re optimistic there will be no lingering issues heading into next spring.
Garza’s performance next April figures to be critical for the Cubs to have any chance of avoiding the same kind of July sell-off they experienced this year.
And whether the Cubs revisit talks on a multiyear deal or can get a strong return if they shop him next year — as they did this season before the injury — will be all about that health and performance.
‘‘Right now, it’s just about getting me ready,’’ Garza said. ‘‘I’m not worried about anything else but getting stronger and getting better.’’