Two stellar, back-to-back pitching performances from Matsuzaka and Lester. Hits and home runs from Ortiz and Tek. The first official Manny “let me pull up a chair and watch that thing sail out and holyshitit’sstillinplay” moment of the season. Papelbon doing what he does best, which is applying boot to ass with extreme prejudice. And now, just as we’re all good and hopped up on adrenaline and cheap beer and that warm sensation that can only be experienced when baseball’s back… we gotta endure the dreaded off day. Christ almighty, we just had about 150 off days, people. Can’t we keep it real for at least one solid week to get us fully immersed in the magic once again?

On the bright side, it gives us more time to appreciate the magnificence of He Whose Beard Frightens Children, who set a new major league record for errorless games by a first baseman with number 194. The Elf was duly impressed:

“That was unbelievable,” said Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. “That’s awesome, 194 games; that’s unbelievable. It’s awesome playing next to him. He fields everything. He’s like a vacuum.”

Next up: Toronto. Where Geddy Lee mugs from the luxury seats, the beer girls run free in the stands and my imagination, and A.J. Burnett continues to underwhelm.