At this point, it's not news that Andrelton Simmons did something impressive on a baseball field. The Atlanta Braves shortstop has already established himself as a Gold Glover and one of baseball's elite defenders. But just because we're used to seeing Simmons pulling off wonderful defensive plays doesn't mean we can't sit and appreciate his wizardry each time he puts it on display again.
Look at what Simmons did Monday night against the Miami Marlins. It was the top of the fourth inning and the Marlins had leadoff man Christian Yelich at first base. He took off running on the pitch, a hit-and-run attempt that sent Simmons to cover second base. Jordany Valdespin hit the ball to the left of Simmons, which generally would make for a successful hit-and-run. But not with Simmons on patrol.
He hit the brakes, dove the other direction and grabbed the ball. He then jumped to his feet for a split second and changed directions again to tag second base for the force out. He had very little time to do all this, of course, because Yelich was nearly to second when Simmons fielded the ball.
To get the out, this play needed to happen in one weird but beautiful moment, and Simmons was just the man for the job.
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