After Monday’s barnburner of a ninth-inning comeback, which featured a tremendously excited Muenori Kawasaki scoring the winning run just before he was gleefully mobbed by his teammates (including the happiest Ichiro I have ever seen in Seattle), when a pal offered a pair of tickets to Tuesday’s game on short notice, I jumped at the chance.

I took Dan again and met up with Ken and Mary and their friends. Before the game started I swung by the bullpen and noticed that ex-Rakuten pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma was out near the fence, a level down from where I was standing and about fifteen feet away. I started yelling for his attention, and a couple of Japanese travelers joined in. I learned I was mispronouncing the guy’s name, but the three of us got his attention.

When he looked up I waved my Rakuten cap at him and he smiled broadly and doffed his cap graciously. The Japanese guys hustled down and joined the small crowd of folks (mostly Japanese) who were getting autographs from Iwakuma. I, of course, had left my pens at home in the rush to get out the door.

Next time. Pretty sure there are only two other Eagles caps in town.

The game was great, if it was disappointing to see the M’s lose. In the third, Detroit manager Jim Leyland got the boot for arguing with the ump and the Tiger’s pitcher Justin Verlander nearly followed suit, angering the home plate ump to the extent that it looked like the guy was gonna charge the mound for a rousing bout of fisticuffs. All this while the bases were loaded. The crowd was on its feet.

The Mariners loaded the bases once again. Naturally, it was in the ninth, and it was a long and exciting inning. The crowd was up and yelling (or maybe it was just me yelling, I am still hoarse) and the Detroit pitcher seemed to be on the verge of losing control of his pitches, nearly an exact repeat of the night before.

Sadly for Seattle, he pulled it out and the Tigers won, 6-3. It was a very exciting game, as was the one before. There is one more game with Detroit this week, tonight, and I kind of expect it to be great.