For a moment, I feared the worst. After Brad Penny pitched his balls off, grinding out a ridiculously awesome performance when we needed it most–a performance that, frankly, I wasn’t sure he had in him–Manny Delcarmen coughed it up in the blink of an eye.

Silly me. I was too focused on the end of the win streak and whether or not Penny, deep in the bowels of the Sox clubhouse, was using Delcarmen’s dress shirts to floss his ass. I should have anticipated the comeback. Because it happened. And our eighth straight win against the Yankees was a thing of beauty.

A-Rod got plunked. Penny earned his entire paycheck in one evening (and that time-freezing K of Matsui to close the sixth was prettier than the goddam Mona Lisa). Papi drilled yet another home run. JD had another key hit. Baldelli made a game-saving grab. Johnny Damon had a Bad News Bears moment with an easy pop fly flopping out of his glove. And the Papel-Bot looked sharper than ever closing things out.

Hell, I know how these things go. I know when the September sweat is rolling down my big white Irish back, the Yankees will be close at hand. I’ve attended far too many Yankees elimination parties in vain to write them off just yet. But right now, they’re heading back home deflated and demoralized and without a single win in eight tries against their most hated rivals. Their two big-money pitchers couldn’t buy them a W, and last night, when one big hit could have made the difference, Mrs. Teixeira pulled an 0-for-5. And we can only assume that, as punishment, Joe Girardi will be putting “According to Jim” on endless loop on all future team flights and bus rides.

It feels good to be a Red Sox gangsta right now. It really does.