And this is how it goes, friends. The calendar flips to October and the Sox flip the switch to the “Full Ass Kicking” setting. It’s just that simple. Jon Lester’s six-and-a-third innings of two-hit ball not only ended the September swoon, it sent a message: the second season is about to begin.

All of “the usual suspects” played a part in the win. And, yes, I include Alex Gonzalez in that group: 2-for-3 with a walk hitting in the 9-hole. Ellsbury swiped his 68th base, Papi inched closer to the 100 RBI mark, and Bay had his 116th RBI. A clean (just one hit allowed) two-and-two-thirds by Bard, Wagner and Papelbon, and you’ve got a textbook 3-0 win.

Tonight we get Dice-K’s final tune-up for the post-season, and keep one eye on CC’s October start in Tampa.

We are just days away from it now. Who’s ready?