The first win of the season was secured tonight, thanks to a stellar performance by John “Born Again Hard” Lackey, who struck out six through six and gave up only three hits. Sure, one of them was a two-run homer to Nelson Cruz, but, as much as we hate to get bested by anyone named “Nelson,” it proved a mere bump in the road.

Meanwhile, our bats unloaded, with Ortiz and Napoli each crunching two-run bombs of their own. Nap had two hits, drove in four runs, and made a jumping snare of a line drive that seemed a near impossibility for a guy very likely coming off a five month bender. Oh, and Pedroia had four hits, and is currently batting .600. I have every reason to believe that he will maintain that average for the rest of the season.

It was the formula that pulled us through the playoffs: fierce pitching and timely hitting. And we also got to see the first official beard-pulling of the 2014 season. Meaning this is officially a thing, again.