The Hokkaido Nippon Fighters, who have won three Pacific League titles in four years by being meticulously sharp about the little things, have made rare mistakes to fall behind 2-1 in the Japan Series.
They failed in two critical moments in Tuesday Game 3, one a misplayed fly and the other a missed sacrifice bunt.
In the fifth inning with two on and two out, Yomiuri Giants slugger Michihiro Ogasawara stroked a high fly to left-center field, but neither left fielder Terrmel Sledge nor centerfielder Yoshio Itoi took an aggressive route to the ball.
The result: A catchable fly short-hopped the wall and allowed both runners to dart around the bases for the go-ahead runs in a 7-4 Giants win at Tokyo Dome.
"I'm making a change in center," Nippon Ham skipper Masataka Nashida said before Game 4.
The manager turned to veteran right-handed-hitting Hichori Morimoto to open up in center against Giants southpaw starter Hisanori Takahashi.
Big brother's watching: Giants catcher Shinnosuke Abe is even more animated when Wirfin Obispo is on the mound.
Abe has taken Obispo--who became the first pitcher to begin his career on the developmental squad to win his first Series start--under his wing and lights up when the 25-year-old succeeds.
"That's because he's Obispo's big brother," Giants manager Tatsunori Hara said Tuesday.
Asked if he enjoyed catching Obispo in the Series against the Fighters, Abe said: "Is it fun? No. It's not fun. It's murder out there. Those guys are tough. If you win it's fun."
Homer dome: Game 3 saw six solo home runs at Tokyo Dome, but that's nothing new for this park.
The Giants' home saw one home run per 26.8 at-bats this season, a massive difference from Sapporo Dome, where there was one long ball per 42.7 at-bats.