We talk a lot about that seemingly flawless Red Sox outfield and the young blood on this team. We talk about Benintendi’s HAIR OF THE GODS and JBJ’s glove and Xander’s bat and the effortless joy and swagger that Mookie brings to this team. We go to bed at night knowing that so long as these young bucks are locked up, the Red Sox will always be a team worth watching.

But last night’s game reminded us that on a team of dudes who look like they just pulled a shift at Hollister, a thirty-something bald guy well under 6 feet tall represents the thumping heart and soul.

The Elf was the catalyst in the Sox’ 7-5 thumping of Texas, knocking in four runs on three hits. But his glove spoke even louder, especially in the bottom of the ninth. Kimbrel kicked off the set with a rare misstep, serving a first-pitch, game-tying home run to Mike Napoli. The next batter reached first on a bad throw to Moreland, but got caught off guard by Pedroia when he thought about second:

It was a play so sensational that it reminded us of all the other stellar glovework Pedey turns in that we take for granted. Like this gem from the tenth inning:

I don’t want to get too hyped up over one stellar evening, but even the most cynical of fans cannot deny that these are the kinds of plays Pedey makes look routine. And it’s refreshing to see that with the Red Sox’ Youth Movement in full effect (and rightfully so), the “old” dog still has a few tricks up his sleeve. In fact, with Ortiz gone and Pedroia easing into the role of elder statesman on this team, we might just stop and realize what a difference-maker his D can be.

Five wins in a row, three up on the Yankees, and a slow-churning feeling of invincibility every time they take the field. The 2017 Red Sox are officially the hottest team in baseball. Rasie a glass to ’em this afternoon. Right after you vote for X.