Barney extends errorless streak, passes Sandberg

Barney extends errorless streak, passes Sandberg

PITTSBURGH -- Darwin Barney isn't eating the same sandwich each day before a game, or putting his right sock on first, then his left, or making sure he picks the right bubblegum.

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."