"It goes without saying he's Gold Glove material," Sveum said of the Cubs' Darwin Barney.
Barney entered Friday's game tied with Placido Polanco for the single-season record for consecutive errorless games at second base, both at 141. But in the eighth inning, Barney fielded Justin Upton's grounder and tried to make an off-balance throw to first. The throw was off the mark, and Barney was charged with an error, his first since April 17.
"I've been in the game 30 years, and I've never seen anyone play second base like [Barney] has," Sveum said. "I was very fortunate to be around who I consider the best I'd ever seen at that position in Jimmy Gantner in Milwaukee. He was another guy who was under the radar because of his offense.
"I think Barney is better than that," Sveum said. "He puts everything into the package, going for pop-ups down the right-field line, double plays, the range -- he has so many different things in his toolbox. It's not just a guy catching the ball, routine balls. He's been spectacular all season."
Barney was rewriting the National League record each game as he surpassed the old mark of 123 games, held by Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, who was Barney's former Minor League manager.
Cubs infield coach Pat Listach said Barney hasn't let up on his desire to be the best at his position.
"It's his work ethic and desire to be the best -- that's what we talk every day about," Listach said. "This is a good day for him to be over with it. It's on his mind. He's having fun out there."
Anyone who has seen Barney knows he has no fear when it comes to going after balls, especially pop-ups.
"He's a true gamer when it comes to that," Listach said. "He wants to make every play, and he's not afraid to make plays. You want that at every position."
Not to take anything away from what Barney has accomplished, but it's helped having Listach go over spray charts of the opponent each day.
"He keeps an eye on me every batter, every pitch," Listach said. "I watch the video, and will show all the infielders where I want them to play. He's watching me every pitch. I told him, 'If you have a gut feeling about it, you stay where you are.'"
Brandon Phillips is the defending Gold Glove second baseman in the NL, and when he and the Reds were in Wrigley Field Sept. 18-20, he was asked about Barney. Phillips expects to repeat as the Gold Glove winner.
"I feel like I should," Phillips said. "I feel the Gold Glove is mine to stay until somebody beats me to it."
Listach saw Phillips' comments.
"In response to what Brandon said, he said someone has to take it from me. Barney just did it," Listach said. "He just took it from him. He outplayed him in 160 something games. He outplayed him."