The Red Sox pitching staff has faltered down the stretch.

Veterans are dealing with injuries. Their fielding has been spotty, at best.

Good thing they’ve got Jacoby Ellsbury.

If Boston holds off Tampa Bay this week for the AL?wild card, the 28-year-old center fielder has made as strong a case for the MVP as anybody.

 

The only 30-30 man in Sox history, Ellsbury entered last night’s game hitting .322 with 31 home runs, 103 RBIs, 117 runs, 38 steals ... and the most important hit Boston will have this year.

The Sox entered Sunday’s nightcap at New York a loss away from falling into a tie for the wild card. John Lackey picked them up with an unusually strong start, but it was Ellsbury who hammered the point home, drilling a Scott Proctor pitch over the wall in the 14th.

“We just put ourselves in a good position, that’s all we can do,” a humble Ellsbury said afterward.

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