I don’t like to brag, but I totally called that one.

And it hasn’t happened a lot this season. Typically when I predict a big game, the Sox pull a complete Hindenburg. But this time, they came up huge. Clay came up huge. Just when we needed it most. And a match-up that looked tough on paper turned out to be pretty one-sided for nine innings.

Look, we’re at the point where we just need to win. Every night, every day. The Yankees are running away with the division, not looking anything like a team that’s gonna hit a six or seven game skid. The Rays remain close, despite their obvious problems. And the Rangers, even though they’ve traded the Wild Card lead back to us, probably aren’t going away. So the winning thing? Important.

So thank God Clay came equipped with the big pants. The last time we saw him, he was stumbling back to the dugout in Texas, looking like a 12 year old kid in an oversized helmet, dejected at the prospects of snuffing out a key rally. Turns out his teammates redeemed him. And last night, he returned the favor, holding the Jays to just six hits and one run over six innings. Simply put, he looked remarkably Halladay-ish, while the real mccoy scuffled.

The bats didn’t exactly disappoint, either. V-Mart continued to tear things up with a key hit and a ninth-inning homer. A-Gon delivered a couple key two out hits. And Bay and Ortiz went deep. Ten hits in all and good practice for the weekend series against the Yanks, when we’ll need all the bats to show up.

Speaking of Victor Martinez, his presence seems to be doing wonders for Papi’s mood. Seeing the two of them cavorting in the dugout, exchanging 2004-esque handshakes and playing some serious grab-ass whenever something good happens has been one of the joys of the past few weeks. It’s like he’s finally found his “replacement Manny.” Also, the next time Terry sits V-Mart for Tek, Imma drive to the park myself and slap him upside the head with a turkey sub. We need V-Mart’s bat in every game from here on out, even if it means relegating Tek to once-a-week, back-up catcher status as Chad Finn recommends:

At this stage in his career, it’s apparent that Varitek is a backup catcher, a more famous Gregg Zaun, nothing more. He shouldn’t play more than once per week, maybe twice. Go ahead, make him Beckett’s personal catcher if that eases the ace’s mind. But three, four, five times per week, it is foolish to rely on an aging captain who still looks the part but can’t play it. Give me someone who can produce.

In closing, it’s been a pretty mercurial couple weeks, but things are looking okay right now. We’ve won the first two games in Toronto, gained a game in the Wild Card standings, and have Lester going tonight for the sweep. I’d say it’s time to get laid. And William H. Macy agrees.