It isn’t often that the Atlanta Braves have anyone, much less a player, ejected from a game. However, Sunday afternoon was no “normal” circumstance, as the Braves saw two players, Chris Johnson and Justin Upton, ejected in the course of a 4-1 defeat in the series finale to the Washington Nationals.
Of course, the ejections take a bit of a backseat to a second consecutive loss, and once again, the offense was to blame for the defeat. Washington starter Tanner Roark navigated 5.1 innings and allowed just one run, and when he exited, the bullpen was dominant for the Nationals. Atlanta failed to produce a solitary extra-base hit in the game, and only a 2-for-4 day from Freddie Freeman stood out as a singular positive.
Braves starter Ervin Santana had a bit of a rocky beginning to his outing, as he allowed two runs in the first inning, but overall, “Big Erv” was perfectly solid. The right-hander allowed three earned runs over six innings, but he struck out nine batters against just one walk, and it would be a stretch to say that he was terribly subpar. It feels like an eternity has passed since Santana blazed out of the gate with a dominant start to the 2014 campaign, but it would be tough to make him the goat in this one.
The aforementioned Chris Johnson and Justin Upton were both ejected on account of arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Mark Carlson. Johnson was sent to the locker room in a hurry after arguing a called third strike, and things escalated a bit with his infamous temper. Then, Upton followed with a ninth inning departure, and his exit was incredibly hasty. Frankly, it looked as if there was a bit of an “ump show” (copyright: ESPN’s Keith Law) happening in the nation’s capital, but alas, it was a bit odd to see two regulars ejected in one game.
Atlanta will have an off day on Monday before traveling to Houston for a three-game set against the Astros. Aaron Harang will oppose Scott Feldman in the series opener, and hopefully, the results will be significantly more positive than they were over the weekend. Stay tuned.