I’ll be the first to admit: I had about as much confidence in Tazawa beating Burnett as I had in Rob Schneider sustaining a career without help from his buddy Adam Sandler. Turns out I was wrong (on the Tazawa part). The young lad tamed the self-proclaimed World’s Toughest Line-Up, giving up no runs through six, while the Yanks’ billion dollar baby went tits-up at Fenway yet again, surrendering nine runs through five.

The offense came to party as well, something that isn’t going to happen every day, but it sure is special when it does. Fifteen hits, including two home runs from Youkbacca, and one apiece from Ortiz and who-is-this-guy-who-slaps-home-runs-and-calls-himself-A-Gon? In fact, the only O-fers in the entire Sox line-up were Ellsbury at the top, who shot zero for five as table-setter, and, predictably, Cap’n Tek, who came up empty in four at-bats, reminding us that, offensively, he’s really just playing out the string, giving V-Mart some rest between starts. It’s actually kinda sad the more I think about it, but watching Tek fruitlessly stroll to the plate and, seconds later, sit his ass back down has been a disheartening sight for far too long.

Games like that do nothing for my split persona (mild-mannered blogger on one side, lascivious drinkiopath on the other). Because just one night after seeing the Sox buried in the series opener and thinking last rites, I’m suddenly refusing to surrender the division. To hear the likes of Tony Mazz and other folks far more clever than me, the division is a lost cause and all focus should be on just getting into the playoffs. To that I say, what the fudge? We’ve already handed the Yankees the single greatest beatdown in ALCS history. Wouldn’t it be ridiculously awesome to follow that up with knocking their megabucks 2009 team from atop the AL East after spotting them a seven and a half game lead? Until someone shows me an impressive Powerpoint presentation full of charts and graphs and conclusive mathematical evidence that the East is unattainable for the Sox at this very moment, on August 23, 2009, I’m not conceding a damn thing. And Girardi can suck it.

We’ll let Papi have the last word, because when he’s on his game, he’s the Captain of the USS Badass. This is from the New York Post:

When someone told Ortiz that the Yankees had won five straight against them, he answered quickly, “Not anymore.”

Amen. A Beckett win tonight and we might be a mere 5 and a half back with a month and a half to play. How’s that sound?