09/09/12 6:50 PM ET
Barney extends errorless streak, passes Sandberg
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
Whatever Barney is doing is working on the field.
The Cubs second baseman extended his errorless streak to a National League single-season record 125 straight games on Sunday. On Saturday, he passed Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg's overall NL mark of 123, set June 21, 1989-May 17, 1990. The Major League record single-season errorless streak by a second baseman is 141 games, set by Placido Polanco in 2007 with the Tigers. Barney has enough games remaining that he could catch Polanco.
"I'm not doing anything like that," he said when asked if there were any pregame rituals. "I'm just making sure I'm prepared every day. I don't eat the same things. I try to eat anything my body will allow me to eat in the morning. You prepare for something like this in spring and stick to those routines and you'll be ready to play every day."
Barney, who leads all NL second basemen in fielding percentage at .998, also is not hesitating to make plays because the record is on the line. He's aggressive, and leads the league in putouts per nine innings this season.
"The only time [the streak] crosses my mind is on a really high popup," Barney said. "Then there's time to think. Besides that, a guy like [Jeff] Samardzija is on the mound, and it's the seventh, eighth innings and you're trying to make plays for him. You don't think about the streak -- you reflect after the game."
Sandberg, who was Barney's manager in the Minor Leagues, hasn't contacted his former player.
"It's not over," Barney said. "I'm not going to text him and then make a mistake and then the ball's in his court to say something back. We'll see how it all turns out."
Cubs manager Dale Sveum hopes the managers and coaches who vote on the NL Gold Glove Awards take notice of what Barney has accomplished and how well he's played.
"He's had such an exceptional defensive season that it stands out as possibly one of the best of all time," Sveum said. "Hopefully, that is enough to sway people."
The Reds' Brandon Phillips is the reigning NL Gold Glove Award winner at second.
"Phillips is so good," Barney said. "It's not like it would be a surprise if he got it. I try not to think about it."
Soriano continues to knock in runs aplenty
PITTSBURGH -- Alfonso Soriano drove in his 92nd run on Saturday. That number marks his single-season high since joining the Cubs in 2007, and the most since he totaled 95 RBIs in 2006 with the Nationals.
Soriano has totaled 100 RBIs twice, driving in 102 in 2001 with the Yankees and 104 in 2005 with the Rangers. But the Cubs outfielder isn't celebrating the personal milestone.
"For me, it means nothing," Soriano said Sunday. "We're fifth in the division. It doesn't count. You have a good year, but it doesn't count if [the team] doesn't play good."
Soriano does see good signs from the Cubs after the bench-clearing dustup Thursday against the Nationals.
"I think playing Washington, they put something in us, the way they played," Soriano said. "We came back and it's like, 'Oh man, those guys play hard,' and we want to play hard, too. We started to play better and with emotion and take it one at-bat, one pitch, and do everything to win. That's what we see in Washington is how those guys [played], and it motivated this team."
Soriano is one of four players in the National League this season with 27 home runs and 92 RBIs, joining the Reds' Jay Bruce, the Nationals' Adam LaRoche and the Brewers' Ryan Braun.
Rookie outfielder Brett Jackson, who bruised his right knee crashing into the wall on Friday, was moving much better on Sunday but is not expected back in the Cubs' lineup until Tuesday at the earliest.
The Cubs face left-handed pitchers on Sunday and Monday, and Jackson would not start against them normally. Cubs manager Dale Sveum said the club would reevaluate Jackson on Tuesday.
Dave Bialas, who had been in the Cubs' organization for 18 seasons, was dismissed on Saturday. He was Triple-A Iowa's manager this season.
"He always gave me good advice, and motivation to get you through the year," said outfielder Dave Sappelt, who played at Iowa this year. "I thought he was good."
There has been an effort to get Adam Greenberg another at-bat. The former Cubs outfielder's season ended after he was hit in the head in his only big league at-bat in 2005.
"That was obviously one of the more unfortunate things to happen in baseball," Sveum said. "The kid's only at-bat, and for that to happen, it was awful to think we spend our whole life to want to play in the big leagues and you get there and something like that happens. It's unfortunate."
The Cubs have no plans to add Greenberg to the roster.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.