Yankees' Aaron Judge gets ejected from a game for the first time in his career

"I've said a lot worse," said Judge after the Yankees' 5-3 win over the Tigers

Homeplate umpire Ryan Blakney, right, ejects New York Yankees' Aaron Judge, left, from the game in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Saturday, May 4, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is ejected by home plate umpire Ryan Blakney during a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Aaron Judge is in his ninth major league season with the New York Yankees. But the 2022 American League MVP can still experience some firsts on the field.

Judge earned a new career achievement on Saturday afternoon when he was ejected from a game for the first time. The ejection occurred in the seventh inning after Judge argued a called third strike by home plate umpire Ryan Blakney.

With a 3-2 count, Judge took a fastball from Detroit Tigers pitcher Tyler Holton that he thought was outside of the strike zone. The Yankees slugger turned to show his disagreement with the call and then walked away. As Judge walked back to the dugout, Blakney ejected him.

The strike zone graphic on YES Network and MLB Gameday showed that the pitch was on the very edge of home plate, but outside of the zone. On a pitch that close, it could be argued that Judge should have swung. Obviously, Blakney thought so.

Judge left the game after batting 2-for-4 with an RBI. The Yankees eventually won the game, 5–3.

Not only was Judge ejected for the first time in his career, but he became the first Yankees captain to be tossed from a game since Don Mattingly in 1994, according to YES Network graphics coordinator Seth Rothman. Derek Jeter, for instance, was never ejected in his 12 seasons as captain.

Judge, who raised his season average to .209 on Saturday, was surprised by the ejection, as were his teammates and Yankees manager Aaron Boone.

"I walked away saying my piece. I’ve said a lot worse," Judge said after the game, via SNY's Phillip Martinez. "I try not to make a scene in situations like that. So, a little surprised walking away that that happened. I got a lot of respect for Ryan, their job’s tough."

(To be fair to Blakney, Rothman showed on X that he consistently called pitches just outside the zone as strikes throughout Saturday's game.)