ANAHEIM -- Defensive wizard Andrelton Simmons made a spectacular tag on Jean Segura to record the final out of the third inning in the Angels' 5-4 win over the Mariners Saturday at Angel Stadium.Segura reached base with a one-out single off Ricky Nolasco and was attempting to steal second when
ANAHEIM -- Defensive wizard Andrelton Simmons made a spectacular tag on Jean Segura to record the final out of the third inning in the Angels' 5-4 win over the Mariners Saturday at Angel Stadium.
Segura reached base with a one-out single off Ricky Nolasco and was attempting to steal second when Mitch Haniger hit a grounder to third baseman Yunel Escobar. Escobar threw to first for the out, but the speedy Segura then broke for third on the play, forcing first baseman Jefry Marte to fire a throw back to Simmons, who was covering third. Simmons leapt to receive Marte's high throw and then reached down to slap a no-look tag on Segura.
"I saw Escobar take his time and make the throw, but I was looking at Segura to see if he was going to make a hard turn," Simmons said. "I kind of wanted him to go to third because I thought we would have had a good chance if [Marte] makes a good throw. So as soon as he committed and he was going, I made sure I got there. I was like, 'OK, we got him, we got him.' Throw comes in a little high, and I'm like, 'Oh god. I've got to just catch it.' After I caught it, I was like, 'Eh, might as well throw my glove down there and see what happens.' I felt I touched him while he was still moving, but I couldn't see if he did or not, so I just tried to get [manager] Mike [Scioscia] to take a look at it before they challenged."
Third base umpire Greg Gibson called Segura safe, but the Angels challenged the ruling after replay appeared to show that Simmons had tagged Segura on the hip before he reached the base. After seeing the replay on the scoreboard, the Angels all started walking off the field even before the umpires formally overturned the call to end the inning.
"That's what Simba's all about," Scioscia said. "This guy, he's a magician out there. Just to catch the ball was one thing, but to get it in a position where he could get a tag on a runner was just an extraordinary play."
Mariners manager Scott Servais, however, wasn't wild about Segura's gamble on the basepaths in that scenario.
"Not where we were at in the lineup," Servais said. "He was stealing on the pitch, a 3-2 pitch, thought he could make it. It was a risky play. A heckuva play by Simmons, a very athletic play to come down with the ball and tag him. But where we were in our lineup there, I know the middle of our lineup has been struggling a bit, but with two outs and already in scoring position with Robbie coming up … he's an aggressive player and was trying to make something happen. But probably too chancy, too risky right there."
Simmons, who is batting .391 (9-for-23) through the Angels' first six games of the regular season, is widely regarded as the best defensive shortstop in baseball and has backed up that reputation with two career Gold Gloves.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.