I want to thank the Red Sox and the good folks at NESN for giving me my money’s worth yesterday afternoon, as I experienced the full range of emotion — from cackling happiness to alcohol-stained futility — during those nine innings.

I’ll admit, when Clay got knocked around for three runs in the first, I had mentally penciled in a loss, and the booze began to flow a bit more freely than it typically does at Casa Red. Especially after seeing the Sox collect four walks across the first two innings and fail to plate any runs.

But then, roughly 40 minutes later, as AJ Pierzynski lofted a grand slam to straight-away center, I began texting Denton my ideas for Repeat World Series Champs t-shirts. By the end of the fifth, with the Sox having built a 7-3 lead off the seemingly hapless Jays pitching staff and Clay finding a groove, I considered this one a laugher. Hell, I even launched a couple smart-ass tweets to twist the knife.

Needless to say, by the ninth, I wasn’t laughing. In fact, I got the first “fist-through-the-wall” event of the 2014 season. The Jays held the Sox hitless from the sixth inning on while they slowly chipped away at the lead, getting the winning run on base before Koji got the line out we were all praying for to close out the game.

It was a close one. In many ways an ugly win. But it was a win. And in addition to AJ’s grand slam, we also got a home run from Middlebrooks, who is already changing the face of our offense, and another hit from Carp in a start for the resting Napoli. A win today gets us back to .500 and feeling pretty damn good about ourselves as the Rays come to town this week.

All I know is, as I tweeted yesterday, that game brought back all the bloody knuckle/hoarse throat/hangover-slammed feelings of the 2013 postseason. And, man, did I miss them.