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Boy, oh boy

Where to begin?

Well, a good, if counterintuitive, place, I suppose, is the first inning, when the sun was shining warmly on red-bedecked fans, and Jon Lester retired the side on just four (4) pitches.

Hot dog! It seemed from the get-go like we were in for another gem.

Here, for posterity, is a photo I snapped of Lester — avant le deluge — as he struck out Carl Crawford in the second.

Things were looking good.

And, then quite suddenly, they weren’t.

Roundabout the eight inning yesterday evening, as the moon shone brightly over the first base line and Rocco Baldelli’s Monster mash flew skyward, hammering a definitive nail in that game’s proverbial coffin, I gazed down at the field and noticed something disconcerting.

The Rays, in their new uniforms, road grays with dark blue caps, looked a lot like the Yankees.

They were hitting like the Yankees, too.

It was also around this time that fans started exiting en masse.

We stayed put. If only to witness something miraculous. But I really couldn’t blame people for wanting to beat traffic. “I can't believe people are walking out,” wrote someone on Sons of Sam Horn. “The fucking principle. This is the American league pennant!”

Came the reply: “Tell that to the Red Sox bats.”

Yep. This game was terrible.

And Jon Lester did the best he could do considering the circumstance he was in. After that disastrous third, he sacked up and came back, gutting it out for another two and two-thirds, giving up just three more hits. (And, yeah, Tek made some bad pitch calls. And yeah, he’s probably a little overworked.)

But WTF is up with this offense?

It’s not just that we’ve got no pop. Yesterday it seemed like we had less than nothing.

No Ellsbury. No Papi. No Tek. (Hey Jason! Don’t wanna be pinch-hit for? Don’t suck!)

We allowed ourselves to be handcuffed for 6 innings by Matt Garza.

And now, because of that, we find ourselves hoping against hope that Tim Wakefield, who was 0-2 with a 5.87 against the Rays this season, will somehow set that thing a dancin’ and turn in a performance like this one.

And we praying that Andy Sonnanstine, who beat us twice in a row last month — and with ease: 13 IP, 12 strikeouts, 7 hits, 0 earned runs — will somehow forget that he has our number.

Yay.

Stranger things have happened, sure.

But the Rays seem relaxed and rested. (And way, way, way too comfortable at the plate.)

We seem beat-up, tired, and tense. Which I think we are.

And I’m starting to think that, as much grit and guts as we may possess, we just don’t have the offence or the pitching do see this thing through.

I’d love, of course, to be proven wrong.

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