On the precipice of another playoff appearance by our beloved hometown lads, and something feels — different. I’m not possessed by the good vibes that gripped me so tightly last year, when our boys seemed to give us that reassurance, that glow that said, “Just sit back and relax and have a beer or six and watch us kick some arse.”

Don’t get me wrong — I’m silly with the fact that there’ll be October baseball again. Absolutely, wet-my-pants-in-public silly [just ask the guy who had to forceably remove me from the D train yesterday].

I’m just a little disheartened that at a time when we need them to slap on capes and rock out Batman-style, our pitchers are, instead, rolling over and taking it like champs. Perhaps none more so than Martinez, who before our very eyes has morphed from Pedro, the most feared weapon in the Boston arsenal, into “l’il Petey,” who calls the Yankees his daddy and hints that his days in Boston are numbered (if you believe what you hear on “Ted Nation,” anyway.)

Last night’s forgettable performance against the D-Rays does not bode well for next week’s ALDS. And after this thrashing [Pedro gave up an almost unthinkable 10 hits], as we learned that the decision had been made a day earlier to, rightfully so, start Schilling in Game 1 of the playoffs, our minds began to click.

Pedro’s upset. He’s mad, he’s insulted. His fragile ego has been dented and that affected his game. He’s out the door and doesn’t care, and next year, he’ll be serving it up in pinstripes.

I don’t buy it. The guy’s too proud to go down like that, and there’s a tiny piece of me that thinks he might be deke-ing out the opposition. Letting them think they’ve got the lion in the trap but the lion’s really just sitting there waiting to unleash a 98-mph fastball up their south 40. I’m more concerned about Lowe and Wakey, and would actually like to see Arroyo start a game 3. Maybe even game 2, to get Pedro the start back at Fenway.

The bottom line is that as wide as Schilling’s shoulders are, he can’t get us three victories in a five game series. Someone’s gonna have to strap on a pair and sound off like they mean it. Who do you think that someone’s gonna be?