These guys are playing scary-good baseball. 17-7 in the month of August and the only loss in their last ten games was on a career performance by Ted Lilly, who undoubtedly made a deal with the Devil to get his curve ball working that way. In contrast to Wednesday night’s show of offense by Boston’s Weapons of Mass Destruction, Manny and Ortiz, the Sox did it tonight with pitching. Bronson Arroyo, by far the best 7-9 pitcher in baseball, went seven-and-a-third giving up just an unearned run while striking out 8. After the lone run scored, Arroyo sat down 11 straight. The 2003 playoff version of Mike Timlin got two outs and Foulke pitched the ninth. Just the way Tito drew it up in practice.

David “I-don’t-like-batting-clean-up-but-will-dominate-you-weak-ass-pitchers-wherever-I-hit” Ortiz had two hits including an RBI double to continue his post-slump ass-kicking campaign. OC extended his hitting streak to 11, Roberts had a stolen base, a sacrifice and an RBI, and everyone in the line-up had at least one hit except Mirabelli who walked and scored a run. It was a true team effort supporting Arroyo.

Meanwhile, it took a ninth-inning rally for the Yankees to defeat Toronto to remain five-and-a-half games in front of the Sox. The struggles continue for the Empire. Lieber pitch just well enough to get a no-decision, giving up 4 runs in 7+ innings. Starting pitching has been on the decline and guess how many .300 hitters are in the starting line-up? If you guessed zero, come on up and get your prize. The Yankees have rested the fate of their season squarely on the shoulders of Gary Sheffield, and so far it has worked.

After going down 4-0 in the third, Steinbrenner reportedly locked the door to his office and began fashioning sock puppets in the likenesses of Scott Brossius, Tino Martinez and Paul O’Neil while repeatedly blasting “Those Were the Days, My Friend” on his stereo. Not a good time to be a Yankee right now.

Tonight, its the enigmatic D-Lowe against Maroth. Expect a defense-minded line-up and the bats to do the rest.

Friday night they’ll be dressed to kill

Down at Dino’s bar and grill

The drink will flow and blood will spill

And if the boys want to fight, you’d better let them