How the hell did it get to be the first game of the last home stand of the season? Time flies when you’re beating the crap out of other teams, high-fivin’ and growin’ beards.

And speaking of beards, how fitting would it be if the Red Sox — whose magic number stands at 8 — clinched the East during “dollar beard night” next Wednesday against the Orioles.

It could happen. And if we celebrate with the Orioles in town, that’s even better.

But first things first: let’s just slap the Yankees a few more rungs down the ladder. I don’t want to see them or Tampa Bay in the post-season.

Make it so, Red Sox. Make it so.