Okay. We’ve dropped two to the Rays. We’re back in the Bronx. Time for a win.

And I’m talking a real thunderclap of a win. Something that crushes their spirits, sends Joba Chamberlain off on a late-night bender and inspires mild looting and rioting in the streets of New York.

Really, we have to do it. Because if we lose the first game of this four-game set, they’ll smell the blood. Taste the concern (a phrase not used since the 1970s ad campaign for Hostess’ “Thinking Man’s Apple Pies”). Herald our collapse.

Lose tonight, and there’ll be a three and a half game delta between the Sox and Yanks. We’ll be the ones taking the express elevator to the bottom floor (or so the NY press will insist), while the Yanks get the keys to the penthouse. We’ll be the ones hooking up with the likes of Paul Byrd to try to make the pain go away.

But if we win. Man, if we win…

Then we’re back in their heads where we belong. It’ll be their ninth consecutive loss to us. The press will ask, “Why can’t you guys beat Boston?” The players will start to wonder if, in fact, they are doomed to drop every contest against us this season. And the fans, those cretins who’ll be out there with their giant paper mache syringes and their giant paper mache replicas of David Ortiz’s ass, will be forced to mope their way back home with said giant syringe and ass in tow, and drown their sorrows in Fritos and malt liquor.

Everything changes if we win tonight. So, as Dwight Evans said back on that cold, ominous afternoon in late 2004, “Just win.”