May 9, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves third baseman Chris Johnson (23) reacts after a pitch that almost hit him against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves: Fredi Gonzalez Answers Why Chris Johnson Left Game

In the 2nd inning of Friday night’s game against the Colorado Rockies, Chris Johnson struck out and was noticeably upset heading back into the dugout.  This was Johnson’s ninth strikeout in the last seven games and 26 at bats.

But one strikeout in the game isn’t the reason why we’re writing this post…heck, the Braves usually have close to double digits a game!

Well, the strikeout led to an early shower for Johnson as he was removed by Fredi Gonzalez immediately following his outburst.

“It wasn’t an injury,” said Fredi.  “I think he’s going to address that, he’ll let you know”.

Well…lets hear from him…

“I let my emotions get the best of me tonight,” said Johnson.  “I came into the tunnel and blew up a bit and that’s dangerous to do and there were people down there that weren’t to happy about it.  I apologized to the team about that after the game and I’m sorry to the fans and everyone who came to watch me play tonight.  It’s one of those things I’m going to have to try and get better at.  I’m going to work my butt off to get better at.  I’ve got to change my behavior”.

Chris has had some issues with his anger management in the past – note the Terry Pendleton confutation in the dugout last season after Johnson threw his helmet and hit Terry in the leg.  And in April he was benched two games because of a dugout tantrum.

“I play with a lot of passion, every single game, at bat, swing I hold it to pretty high regards and when things don’t go well, that’s my down fall,” Johnson said.

Johnson seemed to be on the upswing with his hitting in early May but has had some recent slumps – 4-26 in a seven game stretch…And that includes a 3-4 night on Thursday.

So look who replaces Johnson…Ramiro Pena, who makes an outstanding play at third base to end the top of the 8th inning for the Rockies and then jumps on a fastball and drives it to deep center for a leadoff double in the bottom of the 8th inning.

With two outs and Pena still on second base, Gerald Laird comes through with a base hit through the gap between short and third scoring Pena!!

We will have to wait and see how mad Fredi is with Johnson and how glad he is with Pena for tomorrow’s lineup.

“I agree with Fredi taking me out and his decisions, the worst thing you can do to me is take me out of a game because I just want to play,” Johnson said.  “Whatever punishments there may be, I’ll take it like a man.”

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