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Friday, September 21, 2012
Rizzo pays back Barney for heroics

By Doug Padilla

CHICAGO -- A half inning after Darwin Barney saved the Chicago Cubs on Friday, Anthony Rizzo had to come to the rescue of Barney.

The Cubs’ light-hitting second baseman had just connected on a game-tying home run to send the game into extra innings when he nearly made an error a half-inning later that would have put a halt to his 135-game errorless streak.

Barney ranged back and to his left on a 10th-inning grounder from Matt Carpenter and from nearly shallow right field he turned and threw to Rizzo at first base. The throw was wide and on a hop, though, sending Rizzo sprawling to the ground.

The first baseman made the catch off the bag and then reached around with his feet to touch first base and record the out. If Carpenter had beat Rizzo to the bag it could have been ruled a hit since it was a tough play, but had the throw gotten past Rizzo, allowing Carpenter to advance, an error would have been given.

“(Rizzo) said, ‘If you would have made an error there, that’s your fault because you put us into extras,” Barney said. “I didn’t even think of it that way.”

The play was made, though, putting Barney at 136 consecutive errorless games for a second baseman, five short of the major league record set by Placido Polanco in 2007. The Cubs went on for a 5-4 victory on David DeJesus' game-ending hit in the 11th inning.

“That was unbelievable,” Barney said of Rizzo’s play. “I rushed it a little bit and the ball popped up right there. In my mind I felt like he had gotten down the line a little more than he did. Rizzo was unbelievable. I don’t know what I’m going to get him but I’m going to get him something.”