First off, is it just me or is Jon Lester the world’s oldest looking 22 year-old? I swear when I watch his conferences I’m looking at my fifty-six year old Uncle Nate. Seriously, if I saw Les sitting in the dugout, smoking a pipe and reading Modern Maturity, it wouldn’t suprise me in the least.

Anyway, about last night’s game. Here’s the Cliffs Notes version: Jon Lester. Jon Papelbon. Over and out.

It was a spectacular pitching performance when we most needed a spectacular pitching performance. And we’ll take it. Because they all add up, these wins. Because each one plays its part in getting us to the majesty of the playoffs. But I find it a bit concerning that the worst team in baseball has held us to a paltry six runs over 18 innings. Dudes, these are the Kansas City Royals. I don’t want to see them leave town without us securing at least one apocalyptic blow-out under our belts. I’m talking Ortiz coming on to the field in those rasslin’ shorts worn by The Junkyard Dog (you know, the ones with the word “thump” written across the ass) and pile-driving the pitcher before effortlessly tossing him into left field. Or a shirtless, red-eyed Mike Timlin chasing Brandon Duckworth with an oversized mallet. Or Terry Francona in a spiked collar and “Anarchy in the UK” T-shirt, flicking lit cigarettes at Buddy Bell. I want Esteban German tied to a stake in the outfield and Joey Gathright running frantically from a John Deere tractor driven by Trot Nixon. I want screams of pain and terror coming from the visitors dugout and Angel Berroa simply flopping to his knees a la Charlton Heston in the final scene of Planet of the Apes, pounding his fists in the sand and begging for the Royals jet to transport him and his compadres back to the cozy confines of Kauffman Stadium.

And I want it now. Like today. This afternoon at 1:00pm eastern time. Because our Big Winter Acquisition, Mr. Josh Beckett, is starting. And when you run your Big Winter Acquisition against the team with the worst record in baseball, you expect nine innings of pure murder. Like, to the point that even as I type, Mark Grudzwhatshisname should be at the Kenmore Square Kinkos, preparing a life-sized cardboard cutout of himself to stand up at the plate. Because he knows he doesn’t want any part of Beckett.

Mind you, that’s what should be happening. But will it? Only time will tell. But this could well be the most revealing start of Beckett’s short tenure with the Sox. Can he sack up and shut down a 32-61 team? Let us hope and pray. And gather the chips and malt liquor.

See you for the first pitch.