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Sox walk-off over D-Rays' 'pen

Soak in the moment, Sox fans. Something good finally happened to our Red Sox.

If this game was played a month ago, it would have been a lame duck come the 9th inning. Dramatics? Not then, but something went our way tonight.

There was a different feeling tonight. The crowd was into it even while staring at a 1-0 deficit on the scoreboard. Maybe it was because the Sox were playing the worst team in baseball and a comeback appeared likely, but it seemed like the last three months had never happened. Instead of losing two heartbreakers in one weekend, the Fenway faithful acted like the Sox were in the midst of a ten-game winning streak.

The Sox players feed off the fans, and I think that had a lot to do with the win tonight. When the fans are into it, it motivates the players. Don't think Jason Varitek had a little more "oomph" late in that plate appearance while the crowd got louder and louder?

Tonight's game was a great win and a great momentum booster, but there are bigger issues to think about. For example, when in hell will David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez start hitting the ball during meaningful at-bats?

As happy as I am about the performances of, especially, Mike Lowell, Coco Crisp and Varitek, I'm equally as disappointed about Ramirez, Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis.

What was going through Manny's mind when he took the third strike? I have never seen a player look at a third strike as much as Manny has this season. It's like he's scared to swing and strikeout so, in turn, he's watching the ball and striking out. If it's not down the middle and fat, he pretty much won't swing at it. He's not being aggressive and it's costing the team big time. This guy can rake the ball, but nobody can hit if you don't get the bat of your shoulder.

Youk was the same way in his at-bat in the 9th inning. The pitch he struck out on was way too close to let it go by especially when he just saw Manny strikeout on a bad pitch. Youk's been Julio Lugo bad since the All-Star break. In 136 plate appearances, Youk is hitting just .225. Maybe it's the fact he's hitting in the five-hole because he's hitting just .217 in that lineup spot.

And Ortiz? I don't expect him to hit a clutch home run every game, but he hasn't had a meaningful hit in months. His batting average is up this year - terrific - but his power is down - very bad. I'd trade 50 of those batting average points for 10 to 15 home runs.

Nevertheless, the Sox are looking to be coming around. Let's talk about this one for the next 24 hours and get `em again tomorrow. Go Sox.