Ejections mark frustrating day for Braves' hitters
Johnson tossed for first time this season; Upton out in ninth inning
WASHINGTON -- Chris Johnson and Justin Upton both released some frustration in the process of being ejected from Sunday afternoon's 4-1 loss to the Nationals.
Johnson earned his first ejection of the season when he disputed a check swing call that quieted one of the Braves' few legitimate rallies. Upton was sent to the clubhouse when he argued plate umpire Mark Carlson's called third strike in the ninth inning.
Johnson expressed his anger when first-base umpire Tim Welke ruled that he did not check his swing on a two-strike delivery from Tanner Roark. The Braves third baseman stepped out of the batter's box and then upon learning a strike had been called, pointed toward Welke, offering a number of choice words, which led Carlson to issue the ejection.
"I had turned around just because I had check-swung," Johnson said. "I turned around to regroup and get myself ready for the next pitch. Then I heard the crowd start cheering. So, I turned around and I was shocked that he rung me up on that."
Johnson's emotions were influenced by the fact that Welke's ruling came with two on and one out in a two-run game. Upton had delivered an RBI single moments earlier.
"It was a big spot," Johnson said. "We were getting late in the ballgame. We had just got their starter out of the game. A couple of guys on, one out, middle part of our order, it was a pretty big spot for a call like that."
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez's beef with Upton's ejection was that it was made when the Braves outfielder was walking toward the dugout with his back to Carlson.
"I told Mark, 'he's walking away from you,'" Gonzalez said. "I could see it if he was there [in front of him]. But he's just walking away from you. You don't know what's going on there as far as what is being said. Usually, when they're walking away from them, they let them walk."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.