Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cubs win 7-1 over Astros; Darwin Barney extends errorless streak to franchise-leading 100 games

The Cubs beat the Houston Astros, 7-1 at Wrigley Field tonight.  Jeff Samardzija started for the Cubs and earned his eighth win of the season.  The "Shark" allowed one run on four hits and struck out 11 over seven innings pitched.

Jeff Samardzija earned his 8th win of the season and struck out 11 against the Astros on Monday night (photo from cubs.com)
I'm glad the Cubs offense finally came back tonight, as Darwin Barney and Alfonso Soriano both homered and Anthony Rizzo had four singles.

Darwin Barney also extended his club-record errorless streak to 100 games.  He has only one error in 110 games.  Manager Dale Sveum said, "Right now there's no doubt in my mind he should win the Gold Glove.  I know there are other guys out there that have done good jobs but I'd hate to see anybody that's done a better job on every facet of the game.  It's hard to think anybody's better at pop ups down the right field line that people forget about the way he goes after those."

Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney has a 100-game errorless streak, which leads the club's all-time record
“Turning the double play, he's been unbelievable.  It's not just making errors or not having any errors.  It's the range he's showed, the ability to have everything in his tool box going to his right, going to his left.”  Go, Darwin!

Barney said, “I put a lot of work into it and getting another year under my belt at the second-base position I think was big.  I reflected and thought about what are the plays I got in trouble on and what plays were tough for me.  Coming out early and having four or five coaches that played the infield helps.”

In other Cubs news, the team optioned pitcher Brooks Raley to Triple-A Iowa and called up Michael Bowden.  They also moved third baseman Ian Stewart to the 60-day disabled list.  Stewart had wrist surgery on July 10th and will be out for the rest of the season.

Raley's trip to Iowa is just temporary, since the Cubs will need him to start one of the games during Saturday's doubleheader against the Reds.  The team plans to recall Raley then.  New this season, teams can have a 26-man roster for doubleheaders so Raley will be the 26th man on Saturday and a relief pitcher will most likely be sent down before Sunday's game.  Bowden was called up to help out James Russell and Shawn Camp in the bullpen.

Starting pitcher Brooks Raley was sent down to Triple-A Iowa temporarily (Getty Images photo)
Tomorrow the Cubs and Astros will play the second game of the series at 7:05pm CT.  Chris Volstad will make the start for the Cubs and will hopefully be able to finally earn his first win as a Cub and also end his streak of 22 winless starts.

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