The phrase “most important game of the year” has been bandied about so much, it’s lost much of its power. After all, to be honest, the single most important game of any baseball season is the deciding game of the World Series. That’s when you rise up or chump down for year-long bragging rights and a shiny banner for your ballpark.

That said, today’s game is probably the most important that the Red Sox have played so far in 2015. Because today, a season that saw them flounder, under-perform and get written off by everyone short of your dog (and even he probably has concerns about the bullpen) can transform into a season that we might all actually get excited about.

That’s called the difference between being four and a half or six and a half games out of first place. Win today, and we’ve taken our last five series, jumped five games in the standings and won a startling 10 of our last 13 games.

Lose today, and six and half games back will feel like twenty. The Yankees will be 5-1 at Fenway. And we’ll carry a sense of doubt and concern across a four-day All Star Break.

Alright, that may be a little over the top. But, damn: the chance to be just four and a half games back after essentially shitting away the first part of the season? That’s something that you, me and my cooler full of beer can all rally behind.

Let’s do this, Red Sox. Let’s do this!