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When asked about Jingu Stadium a few weeks ago, Tokyo Yakult Swallows closer Tony Barnette gave a wry smile and said, “Jingu can play games with you as a pitcher.”

The middle three games of the Japan Series, hosted by Yakult, will give the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks battery members plenty of time to find that out. They were on top of their game at home, inside at Yafuoku Dome, in the first two games. But Jingu is small, and being outside brings the elements, into play.

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