Thanks to my pal Jen for the finger. And the photo.

After the 2004 ALCS, there’ll always be a place for Javier Vasquez at my Thanksgiving table. And last night, he was in a giving mood yet again, holding up on an infield pop fly to let catcher Francisco Cervelli handle it, only to see Cervelli drop it. That opened the door for three unearned Sox runs, which provided the margin for a 6-3 win.

But we didn’t just sit back and let ‘em hand it to us. Buchholz held the Yankees in check for 7 and 1/3 innings. Ortiz and Kalish both homered, the latter continuing the 2010 Red Sox theme of “Who the f#$k is that and Thank God He’s on Our Side.” And Marco Scutaro came up big with a bases loaded double when we needed a little two-out magic in the second inning.

Look, I’m not gonna start hassling the Yanks fans in my office about how we’re gonna unseat New York atop the AL East. But at the same time, I’m not totally discounting it. For all the injuries the Sox have had this season, the defending world champs are only five games up on us. Just like in the 2004 postseason, we’re playing one game at a time. The pressure’s on them to “bury” us and end our season early, as echoed in the NY Daily News:

By winning three out of these four games at the Stadium, the home team would take a lot of that hope away. It is not often the Yankees get the chance to leave the Sox for dead in early August. They really should take advantage of it.

Meanwhile, Teets is sipping the Bigelow, moving players around like chess pieces, and watching the Sox quietly win 8 of their last 11.

This afternoon, we’ve got Lackey against Sabathia. I’ll call it the biggest start of Lackey’s Red Sox “career” thus far. If we can pull out a win, we’ll pull within four, and know we’ll at least leave the Bronx with a split, with Lester and Beckett still on tap. And Theo can feel a little bit better about the sacks of cash he’s donated to the Lackey Retirement Fund.

Personally, I’d like to see a little of that fire from last Tuesday’s bench clearing against Cleveland, in which Lackey inserted himself right in the mix, and I can only hope he’s already on his fifth steak and Red Bull as I type this. If he has to imagine the Yanks players all wearing Anaheim uniforms, I’m all for it.

I’m just taking it one game at a time.