But one fan at T-Mobile Park either wanted to make sure Kirby stayed sharp or just couldn't keep his enthusiasm contained to the seats.
In the sixth inning, while Kirby was facing Houston's Kyle Tucker, the pitcher was suddenly hit in the abdomen by a baseball thrown from the stands. Kirby was naturally startled and Mariners manager Scott Servais came out of the dugout to determine what happened.
Baseball: you truly do see something new every day pic.twitter.com/3DF5HLyrh4— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) September 27, 2023
As it turns out, Kirby was hit by friendly fire. Or a bizarrely enthusiastic Seattle fan, to be more exact. Fellow spectators nearby quickly pointed out the culprit to security so he could be escorted from his seat.
definitely a Mariners fan and they ratted him out with the quickness pic.twitter.com/LWVTgiSQP5— CJ Fogler account may or may not be notable (@cjzero) September 27, 2023
Considering the fan was wearing a throwback Jarred Kelenic jersey, he's apparently a Mariners supporter. His motives for throwing a ball onto the field and hitting one of the players were uncertain. However, he likely won't be allowed into a major-league ballpark ever again.
Regardless, Kirby was unharmed. And the game continued after a bizarre interruption that definitely doesn't occur at a ballpark every day. The Mariners eventually won, 6–2, moving a half-game behind the Astros in the AL West and wild-card standings.