The games themselves don't hold much meaning these days for the Cubs.
But there are several questions worth asking as the season winds down. Another set presented itself during and after Wednesday night's 3-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field:
Contact information ( * required )
•Will the Cubs reach 100 losses?
•Can the offense do enough to support decent starting pitching?
•Will Darwin Barney's errorless streak continue?
The answers are: possibly, apparently not and yes, but with a little help.
The Cubs fell to 49-80 with their third straight loss to the Brewers. That has them on pace to finish with 100 losses.
Jeff Samardzija turned in the Cubs' second straight quality start, but he joined Travis Wood in coming away with a loss.
And Barney set a National League single-season record for consecutive errorless games at second base, as he reached 114, breaking the mark he held with David Eckstein, who had 113 in 2010 with the San Diego Padres.
But Barney had an error for several minutes during a sloppy 3-error seventh inning, in which the Brewers scored 2 runs to break a 1-1 tie.
Samardzija committed the inning's first error, throwing the ball away with one out on Nyjer Morgan's bunt single, sending Morgan to second. Things got worse as Samardzija uncorked a wild pitch before Jean Segura singled home Morgan.
After Samardzija struck out Brewers pitcher Mike Fiers, Segura stole second base. He went to third on catcher Welington Castillo's throwing error. Barney picked the ball up and threw to third, but it got away, as third baseman Luis Valbuena missed it.
Originally, Barney got the error, which would have wrecked the streak, but the official scorer changed it to an error on Valbuena.
"It kind of sets in on a day like today, but unfortunately, we couldn't win," Barney said. "It's one of those things where when something like this happens, it's a lot easier to celebrate with a victory. Unfortunately, that didn't happen."
Barney said he was aware he got the error at first.
"I figured it was mine," he said. "But it's one of those things, at that time, your thoughts on are Samardzija. Our thoughts are on doing whatever you can to help have an opportunity to win the ballgame.
"When I made that throw, you walk away thinking those are the kinds of errors you're willing to make at this point. I wasn't too upset. It's one of those things where it's not 'fortunate' because the guy scored. You can't be happy that they changed it."
Samardzija (8-12, 4.03 ERA) wound up working 7 innings, giving up 7 hits while walking none and striking out 10.
"You show up every day as a professional and do your job," he said. "I go out and give everything I got every day to win a ballgame. That's not going to change. We've just got to do the little things right, that's all there is to it. That's including myself."