The Yankees beat the Tigers, 4-3, on Thursday after Mark Teixeira and Eric Chavez hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning to tie the game and then put the Yankees ahead for good.
But it's tempting to tie the rally to something that happened during the fifth inning: Joe Girardi's ejection for arguing Andy Dirks' double. Dirks lifted a ball down the left field line that Raul Ibanez couldn't track down. Girardi was upset, however, because umpire Tim Welke initially called the ball foul before ruling it fair a moment later. A runner scored on the play, leaving the Yankees in a 3-2 hole.
Though the call likely had no effect on the play (Ibanez wasn't looking at Welke), it gave Girardi an opportunity to fire-up his team.
Or so the narrative goes.
More often than not, ejections have little in common with a team turning a game around.
There have been 94 games this season that have seen ejections of a player, manager, coach or some combination of the three. The ejected parties' teams were losing in 52 of them. But only eight times did that losing team come back to win the game.
Here are the full stats (much thanks to Close Call Sports for recording every ejection this season):
- Eight teams have won a game they were losing at the time of an ejection 22 teams have won a game they were already winning at the time of an ejection
- One team has lost a game they were winning at the time of an ejection
- 44 teams have lost a game they were losing at the time of an ejection
- Seven teams have won a game that was tied at the time of an ejection
- 12 teams have lost a game that was tied at the time of an ejection
- Ejections have come from a team that is losing 55.3 percent of the time
- Ejections have come from a team that is winning 24.4 percent of the time
- Ejections have come from a team that is tied 20.2 percent of the time
One more interesting stat: Girardi has been ejected twice this season.
Both times the Yankees were losing, and both times they rallied to win.
Check out video of Girardi after Thursday's game:
And if you still can't get your fill of Girardi's ejection, click here for a gif of him walking off the field.