Mike Trout and Andrelton Simmons are defensive wizards.
Don’t believe us? Just ask the New York Yankees.
They were stunned Wednesday night as the Los Angeles Angels Gold Glove combo killed their seventh-inning rally by teaming up for an unusual, yet spectacular inning-ending double play that has to be seen to be believed.
The Yankees had already rallied from a five-run deficit to tie the game and were threatening to add more when Brett Gardner hit a slicing line drive that would leave most center fielders not knowing which way to turn.
Not Mike Trout.
He tracked the ball all the way until the very last second. Then his instincts took over and he managed to make a sensational no-look grab.
If that was the only out recorded on the play, it still would have been highlight-reel worthy. Quite honestly, it’s one of the best catches we’ve ever seen from Trout. That’s saying a lot.
What followed took it to another level entirely.
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons pulled off the closest thing you’ll see to a hidden-ball trick without actively hiding the ball.
After taking the throw in from Trout, Simmons leisurely jogged in while apparently never taking his eyes off Yankees’ runner Tyler Wade at second base. Once Wade turned around, Simmons slapped a tag on Wade’s back just as his foot came slightly off the base.
"I just gotta be, uh, I gotta be smarter. I gotta know better,” Wade told Yahoo Sports after the game.
"It's just one of those weird plays. You gotta be aware of those nuance-y things that'll get you," added manager Aaron Boone.
If it makes them feel any better, even the umpires were caught off guard. It took a review to arrive at the out call.
Of course, some questioned whether a play of this nature should be reviewed at all. Wade’s foot was a fraction off the base. He was basically safe, and it took a couple minutes of precious time to look at it again.
Two things about the Tyler Wade play - first, that wasn't the spirit of why MLB instituted replay. But on another note, Derek Jeter tried the same thing that Andrelton Simmons did ... all ... the ... time.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) April 25, 2019
But those are the rules. Love them or hate them, everyone is trying to make them work to their advantage.
Unfortunately for the Angels, it wasn’t enough. In fact, it was Tyler Ward who actually got the last laugh on this night. He scored on D.J. LeMahieu’s ninth-inning single to give the Yankees a 6-5 win.
Still, we probably won’t see a better or stranger double play this season than the one turned by Trout and Simmons.
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