And so far, they've done their part.
It's just one game. One game in a long two weeks in an even longer season. But for tonight the Red Sox are winners--walkoff winners no less--and at the expense of the Yankees, who now have to share their roost atop the AL East with the birds from Baltimore. These are, at least until 7:10 Wednesday night, good times for Red Sox fans.
It's been too long.
The win almost seems to have been preordained. How else do you explain seven walks from Jon Lester in a win? He would end up stranding five of the men he allowed on base that way, and through five had just the one run in. Only a jammed ground-rule double from Derek Jeter turned that one into a three.
How else do you explain the magic of Pedro Ciriaco, who scored the first run after a double into left, and the last one after swinging at three straight curveballs in the dirt...and poking through the infield and into left for a one-out single in the ninth. He had been 6-for-47 with one walk and not a single extra base hit in his last 13 games before tonight.
The production from Ellsbury and Pedroia--especially Pedroia, who has been a monster at the plate for the last month--is less difficult to explain. But a 4-for-5 night from Ellsbury, including the walkoff single, on his birthday? It's almost a bit too storybook.
Tomorrow we throw Aaron Cook, but tonight we've got a win in our pocket. It's a rare enough occasion these days, particularly one that's actually worth caring about, so let's enjoy it while it lasts.