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LAD@ARI: Cahill strikes out seven over seven strong

When it comes to players on non-contending squads, it's not always easy to maintain the same focus through the last weekend of the season that they had during the first. For Cubs' Saturday starter Justin Germano, it's going to be particularly difficult.

While his colleagues around the game may be fighting off the distraction of rest, vacation, or time with family, the plans Germano has for the start of his offseason are a bit more pressing. His wife is expecting the couple's second child on Monday, two days before the Cubs' season will wrap up against the Astros.

Germano will take the hill on Saturday in Arizona for his final start of the season, and despite the impending addition to his family, he says a strong finish is the main thing he's concerned with at the moment.

"I'm the same as everyone else, and just want to finish strong," said Germano, who has lost seven straight starts. "I hit a rough patch of four starts, and I've felt the last three starts, I've bounced back a little bit. [I] want to keep that going so I can go into the offseason more on a high note than thinking about the four that weren't that good. I want to put up a quality outing and give us a chance to win."

All that while making sure he's informed if the baby should come early.

"I run in [to the clubhouse] every so often, just to check," the 30-year-old said, though he says he'll probably give someone his phone to monitor during his Saturday start.

Just as a Saturday win is still the focus for Germano, his opponent, the D-backs seem similarly concerned more with wins than the fact that they were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Friday.

"Regardless of where we are at in the standings, we want to win every game," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "It's not in my DNA to come in and just play an exhibition. I don't think it's right for the game, it's not how I was taught. You have to continue to prepare and be a professional. We've had our opportunities this year to put ourselves in a better situation, but the reality is we haven't, and we're in a very disappointing situation."

In the face of that disappointment, Gibson will run starter Trevor Cahill to the Chase Field mound for his 32nd start of the year. Cahill is quietly having a very solid season, carrying a 12-12 mark and 3.86 ERA into Saturday's game. His 147 strikeouts tie his career high, set last year, and he has already become just the second pitcher since 1990 (along with CC Sabathia) to record at least 10 wins and 30 starts in his first four Major League seasons.

Cubs: Barney's errorless streak snapped just shy of record
• Cubs' second baseman Darwin Barney needed just one more error-free game to set a new Major League record for a single season by a second baseman with 142. He didn't get it, as he made a throwing error late in Friday's loss to the D-backs to snap his errorless streak at 141 games. That mark leaves Barney tied with Placido Polanco for that record, according to ELIAS.

The streak was still a record-breaking one, however. Barney now holds the NL record for consecutive errorless games at second base, formerly held by Ryne Sandberg, who had a 123-game stretch that spanned parts of the 1989 and 1990 seasons. Friday night's miscue was just his second all year, the other coming April 17 against the Marlins in Miami.

D-backs: Arizona officially eliminated from playoff contention
• The Cardinals' 12-2 drubbing of the Nationals on Friday marked the official end of the D-backs' 2012 playoff hopes, as it dropped Arizona to 6 1/2 games back of St. Louis for the final Wild Card spot with six games to play.

The D-backs are currently one game over .500 at 79-78, good for third in the NL West.

Worth noting
• The Cubs have yet to win a game in a National League West ballpark in 2012, playing to an 0-17 record so far. Friday's loss at Chase Field sent the Cubs' record against the D-backs in Arizona to 0-4 this season, and Chicago was 0-4 at San Francisco, 0-3 at Dodger Stadium, 0-3 at Petco Park, and 0-3 in Coors Field. They have just two more chances -- this weekend's games with the D-backs -- to buck that trend. Comments