This could be the streak we’ve been waiting all season for. That stretch of games where Manny Ramirez makes every pitcher look like a little-leaguer and every outfield wall look like it’s 100 feet closer to the plate than it is. In the two games since the break – and yes, I know it’s only two games – Ramirez has that look. He’s 4-for-9 with a homer, 6 RBI and three runs scored. Perhaps the most telling stat: just one K in those 9 at-bats. Perhaps that “Mexican Tornado,” or whatever they called it, he suffered in the last game before the break gave him the extra rest he needed. ‘Cause we need the hits, baby.

On the other side of the coin, we get the dreaded update we’ve been fearing all year: Boston OF J.D. Drew left the game because of tightness in his right hamstring. While Drew hasn’t been hitting for power, he’s 24 for his last 73 – a .329 average – going back to June 15th. He’s also walked 15 times in that span, raising his OBP from .347 to .369. Good enough to make him a serviceable lead-off hitter. He was 1-for-2 before leaving the game.

Write last night’s game off as a bad outing for J-Tav and move on. The Yankees – with Rocket starting – lost to Tampa Bay last night. And does anybody still think Toronto is going to compete for the division. I didn’t think so. Tonight, we get Dice-K and his magic red glove and his gyro-ball and his 10 wins and his 3.86 ERA. And the offense can jump on Manny’s back and let him carry us through the next couple of weeks. He’s back.