Braun ejected, says frustration was building

Brewers slugger tossed following second K of game

Braun ejected, says frustration was building

MILWAUKEE -- It appeared that frustration over a called strikeout in the first inning spilled into a swinging strikeout in the fourth and led to Ryan Braun's ejection in Friday's 1-0 Brewers victory over the Nationals at Miller Park.

In fact, the outfielder's angst had deeper roots.

"I would say it was spillover from the past couple of weeks," Braun said. "I feel like we have had a lot of bad pitches called strikes on us that were not strikes. The umpires are always doing their best. It's not easy. Pure stuff is better than it's ever been, catchers are better at framing pitches than they have ever been. But for us, a lot of those borderline pitches that we're taking that are balls, are pitches that we're fighting to take. When it's called a strike, it's frustrating as a hitter.

"My first at-bat, two pitches were called strikes that weren't strikes. Obviously, I was frustrated, and at some point we have to start standing up for ourselves when that continually happens."

Braun had words for plate umpire Mark Ripperger in the bottom of the first inning after Nationals starter Tanner Roark got a pair of called strikes against Braun, one inside and one outside. Braun struck out again in the fourth, looking at a two-seamer on the outside corner for strike two before swinging through a changeup down and in. He had more words for Ripperger and was quickly ejected.

It was Braun's second ejection this season and the sixth of his career. Hernan Perez took over in left field.

Asked whether he was upset that Braun would cross the line to warrant an ejection with Milwaukee in the midst of a pennant race, manager Craig Counsell said, "No. He's fighting and trying to get the right pitches called on him. That's all he's doing -- he's fighting for it."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.