7/22/2014 7:03 P.M. ET
Andrelton pulls off another magic trick with glove
Dives backwards to snag ball, lunges to force out runner at second
By Joe Morgan and Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
ATLANTA -- Andrelton Simmons caught the attention of baseball fans on Monday night with his latest web gem, but he wishes he could have turned the double play.
"I was a little disappointed, because after I touched the bag, my goal was to throw the ball to first," Simmons said. "Not doing it was a little disappointing to me."
"I was a little upset I didn't throw the ball to first, to be honest," Simmons said again later. "Just a little bit. I was still happy. At least we got one out, but I still wanted to turn the double play."
Naturally, his fellow Braves were incredulous that he felt that way.
"I couldn't believe it. The funny thing is, the guy was mad he didn't throw the ball to first base," third baseman Chris Johnson said. "How do you make that play and then get upset that you don't throw the ball to first base? That's how good he is. That was an incredible play, just to catch it, let alone roll over and touch the bag."
"It doesn't surprise you anymore," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez added. "He gets upset because he thinks he can turn two on that play. A couple of guys in the dugout said, 'If he would have turned two on that play, they would have taken the uniform off and gone home because he's in a different league.' But that's how special he is."
All Miami's Christian Yelich could do was shake his head and smile.
Yelich was running on the pitch, and he anticipated the ball would skip into the outfield. But Simmons drifted toward second to cover the bag, and he made his remarkable play, moving in two directions seemingly at the same time.
"It happened so quickly, I didn't have a chance to slide," Yelich said. "I was running on the pitch, and saw him catch it. I was too close to the bag to slide. I was kind of in no-man's land. I was like, 'What just happened?' He tagged the bag. I was out."
Naturally, that conversation continued into Tuesday as Gonzalez and Atlanta's coaches watched film from Monday night's game.
"We've talked about it as a coaching staff and we're kind of split up the middle about whether he could turn two or if he couldn't because [Jordany] Valdespin was running," Gonzalez said. "You could see from the way he came out of it, he wanted to turn two. We were all unanimous in thinking that if he would have turned two, it would have been the best play in the entire year."
The play was challenging even for Simmons, whose 5.4 defensive WAR last year matched the single-season Major League record set by Terry Turner in 1906. His main goal once the play began was simply keeping the ball from reaching the outfield.
"It's definitely a little harder because you're moving at an angle and you can't really see the progress of the angle of the ball," Simmons said. "After somebody hits the ball, especially when they square it up, it'll have a little angle to it, so it was a little harder, but it wasn't the biggest thing. The biggest thing was stopping it right there."
Simmons has since watched the replay, but his recollection of the play itself is fuzzy.
"I don't know what happened," Simmons said. "Don't ask me. I have no idea. I caught the ball and tagged the bag. Don't tell me how the process was because I have no idea how that happened."
Was it instinctive?
"Yeah," Simmons said. "Just catch the ball and then get an out. After I caught the ball, it was just, 'Touch the base. Somehow.'"