In what feels like a now weekly occurrence, Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons made a defensive play worthy of the highest possible praise on Wednesday night. Only this time, it doubled as a potential game saver, as Simmons’ heroics prevented the game-tying run from crossing home in Atlanta’s eventual 3-2 victory over the New York Mets .  It happened in the eighth inning with a runner on third, two outs and rookie Travis d’Arnaud at the plate. d’Arnaud hit a grounder deep into the hole at short, which forced Simmons to range about three steps into the outfield. That was not a problem for Simmons. However, the angle and his distance from first base made it seem like an impossible play for him to complete unless he pulled off some magic. As we should have learned by now, Simmons is absolutely capable of creating magic. In two fluid steps, Simmons snagged the ball and then launched into the air while twisting his body into an off-balance, mid-air throwing motion. Again, if you broke this play down frame-by-frame, you’d think there’s no way that process could result in a strong enough or accurate enough throw to beat a major league baserunner. But the rules of physics don’t apply to Simmons.  Sure, his throw took a single hop to Freddie Freeman’s glove, but it had plenty of steam and was accurate enough that the skilled first baseman could pick it clean to complete an amazing out. By a good half-step mind you. There was no controversy at all over the call. d’Arnaud was out, and he was also admittedly impressed by Simmons’ effort.  ”It looks like he has no chance, and then in the last second, he just reaches for it and throws it,” d’Arnaud said. ”What a great play.” Considering game-situation and Atlanta’s place in the standings, this play definitely deserves a high spot on Simmons growing list of defensive gems. And perhaps even a free dinner.  ”Two out, man on third, not only does he make the play, but he makes an accurate throw to first base,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ”Today, Teheran should take him out to dinner because he saved him the win.” Gonzalez is refering to starter Julio Teheran, who picked up win No. 13. Simmons’ gem actually directly saved reliever Jordan Walden, who allowed one run on two hits in the eighth inning. Craig Kimbrel earned the save in the ninth, although that also required a great escape with one runner being thrown out at home.  This night, though, belonged to Simmons, as once again we are marveled by his unbelievable combination of instincts, quickness, range, accuracy and arm strength. He’s a five-tool defender if there ever was one.   More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

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Post info: By Chipper on August 28th, 2014
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Ex-Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker infamously had his doubts that he could survive the No. 7 train in New York City, but he apparently thinks he can be the ultimate “Survivor” in Nicaragua. Rocker has been cast in the latest season of CBS’ popular competition show, “Survivor,”  filmed in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua and   set to debut Sept. 24.

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Post info: By Chipper on August 27th, 2014
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Madison Bumgarner mastered the game of baseball Tuesday night. Bumgarner lost a perfect game in the eighth inning when he unsuccessfully tried to bounce a pitch to Colorado Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau, but the left-hander recovered from the leadoff double to complete a one-hit, 13-strikeout shutout in the San Francisco Giants’ 3-0 victory. Catcher Buster Posey belted two home runs, including a two-run shot that broke a scoreless tie in the sixth inning, giving Bumgarner all the offensive support he would need to record his second shutout and 15th win of the season. Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa (13-9) was the hard-luck loser, falling victim to Posey’s first home run and a thumb injury.

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Post info: By Chipper on August 27th, 2014
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The low-budget Marlins have had a better season than anyone expected. But they still have to show their young star even better days are ahead.

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Post info: By Chipper on August 26th, 2014
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On a strange night at AT&T Park, Colorado Rockies left-hander Tyler Matzek recorded his first road win of the season. Consider this: Matzek’s most memorable moment of the evening technically never existed. Matzek snapped a five-game losing streak with the benefit of three double plays, pitching the Rockies to a 3-2 victory over the mistake-riddled San Francisco Giants in the opener of a four-game series. First baseman Justin Morneau and left fielder Corey Dickerson drove in runs with sacrifice flies and the eventual difference-making run scored on a balk by Giants starter Jake Peavy, as the Rockies won for the fourth consecutive time this season at AT&T Park.

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Post info: By Chipper on August 26th, 2014
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The Milwaukee Brewers keep finding ways to stay atop the National League Central. Milwaukee has been alone or tied for first since April 5, but it’s been a high-wire act atop the division, especially since July 1. The latest brush with second came Sunday, when Milwaukee entered the day with a half-game lead over St. Louis and went home that night with a 1 1/2-game cushion following another nice outing by fill-in starter Mike Fiers and a Cardinals’ loss to Philadelphia. Call it a coincidence, Scooter Gennett said.

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Post info: By Chipper on August 25th, 2014
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Bartolo Colon took the mound with a heavy heart, and teammate Lucas Duda helped make the day a bit easier with a big bat. Duda homered twice, drove in a career-high five runs and was involved in the New York Mets’ first triple play in over four seasons, allowing Colon to breeze to an 11-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.

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Post info: By Chipper on August 25th, 2014
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Mike Leake gave the Reds’ struggling offense the only run it would need. The right-hander pitched into the seventh inning and boosted Cincinnati’s struggling offense by hitting a double and scoring as the Reds ended a seven-game losing streak by beating the Atlanta Braves 1-0 Saturday night. Leake opened the sixth with a double off Ervin Santana (13-7) and came around on Billy Hamilton’s sacrifice and Brandon Phillips’ two-out single. Cincinnati is 19-31 in one-run games, the most such losses in the majors.

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Post info: By Chipper on August 24th, 2014
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Mike Leake didn’t singlehandedly take on the task of snapping Cincinnati’s seven-game losing streak, but he almost did it all himself. Leake pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings and scored the game’s only run as the Reds avoided their longest losing streak in more than five years by scratching out a 1-0 win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday. Leake and Phillips let their work speak for them. Leake left the Reds clubhouse before the media was allowed in, and Phillips isn’t speaking with many members of the local media.

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Post info: By Chipper on August 24th, 2014
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Joe Torre lingered on the field at Yankee Stadium, hugging each one of the guests on hand Saturday to honor New York’s four-time World Series winning manager. If Torre’s time with the Yankees always felt like a family affair why should the day his No. 6 was retired be any different? ”However, I was blessed to make that journey on the shoulders of some very special players.” The recently inducted Hall of Famer unveiled his number alongside those of 16 other retired numbers in Monument Park at the start of the ceremony. With No. 6 forever out of circulation, that leaves Derek Jeter’s 2 as the only single digit number still being worn on Yankees pinstripes.

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Post info: By Chipper on August 23rd, 2014
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