Any night the Red Sox can get 20 hits and score 16 runs is a good night. But the fact that all this clatter was produced by a Manny-free line-up? And that it got rolling under an 8-1 deficit? These are the sort of things that bode well for our October aspirations.

At this stage of the season, with the Yankees tearing a swath through the opposition in a mad, HGH-fueled dash to the post-season, we can’t afford to be dropping games to the likes of the Devil Rays. With all due respect to Joe Maddon and his “Grandpa who digs on The Arcade Fire and knows the guy from Yo La Tengo personally” eyeware, the Rays are precisely the sort of team we have to be stepping on en route to October glory. Notice how the Yanks worked over Toronto like Andre the Giant bitchslapping Peter Dinklage? That’s what we needed to do to Tampa Bay last night.

So, needless to say, when the score was 8-1 in the top of the fourth, I hit the panic button. But the lads battled back, with Vintage Youk, Scenic Lowell and that now-magical Ellsbury ‘n’ Elf combo at the top of the order leading the charge. Hell, even J.D. Drew got in on the act, swatting his first Fenway homer since that back-to-back-to-back-to-back barrage back in April (and not counting the one he hit off the base of the Monster Seats that the umps took away). It was a monumental comeback, sparing Shakey Wakey a loss to the Rays and, more importantly, keeping our lead at 5 games. Now, even if we lose and the Yanks win tonight, the best New York can do is crawl within one game this weekend.

We’re down to the last 16 games, people. How ya feelin’?