When the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks were up to bat, the relative quiet of Kyocera Dome was broken up by a Hawks fan with a snare drum. The fan played during the top half of every inning, striking in slow, deliberate, rhythmic patterns before stopping so the crowd could repeat the pattern by clapping. Occasionally, the beats came at a more frenetic pace, leaving the crowd to dissolve into a mishmash of disorganized clapping with no hope of keeping up.

That’s what it’s like to face the Hawks in the Japan Series. One second, you think you’re on their wavelength. The next, they’ve left you hopelessly flailing behind and choking on a cloud of dust.

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