I can only hope that, after last night’s win in the Helldome, Hideki Okajima and Paps took Jacoby Ellsbury out on the town for prime rib and hookers. Because the young man’s otherwordly snag of a sinking pop fly with one out and the bases loaded and the Sox clinging to a 7-4 lead, was a game-saving thing of awkward beauty.

Watching the replays, I still can’t comprehend exactly how he ended up with the ball in his hands when all was said and done. But I know that if it got by him, you might as well have dropped it into the Negative Zone. There would have been ample time for all three baserunners and the entire brass section of the New York Philharmonic to cross the plate, my foot would have gone clean through the flatscreen, and the Ghost of Mike Timlin would have been busy crafting some cement loafers for Oki.

This was a series I’d been dreading, but having seen game one, I like the way the next two stack up. Tampa Bay looked like a team that may have included the towel in its deal of Scott Kazmir. The Sox, meanwhile, looked lean and mean, like a team that wants something the other guys have got. That’s not Joe Maddon, mind you; it’s the AL Championship trophy. And the fact that there were approximately 37 fans left in attendance after the fifth inning of last night’s game shows you how much faith and concern the locals have. In those parts, Moons Over My Hammy beats playoff-intensity baseball any day!

Tonight, Commander Kick Ass has an excellent opportunity to shake off the disappointment of his last few starts and get back on the Cy Young beat while helping to bury a fellow Wild Card hopeful. And when it comes to Doc Beckett, I’d rather be us than them.

In other news, watching Cheap Trick last night on Conan, I’m convinced that they may be the single most under appreciated band in the world. If you’re among the uninitiated, do yerself a favor: Shut off the f@#king Kings of Leon and put on the Trick. You can start with the vid of their Tonight Show gig.