Whenever the A’s roll into town, I get the impression that the Sox view ’em in the same way that Spider-Man would view one of his third-rate nemeses. Like, say, the Gibbon. Or the Vulture. Or the Rocket Racer. Ever since that improbable comeback in the 2003 ALDS, Oakland seems to melt in our clutch, and last night was no exception.

This was your textbook 13-5 rout in which nine of our runs were unearned and if Ken Macha hadn’t been bounced out for arguing a strike call, you can bet he’d have been hanging his naked ass over the dugout stairs in utter contempt for his team’s performance. Or something like that.

Early on, the game had nutbust potential. Sox had the bases loaded and nobody out in the first, but could only conjure one run. But then they put up five in the fourth amidst a carnival of Oakland errors, and never looked back. And my nuts rested easy.

Anyway, on a night in which every team in the AL East won [and I’m pleased to announce that Hiram Preller of Dedham, MA is the winner of a new commemorative bagel toaster in NESN’s “Pick the Night Every Team in the AL East Wins” contest], it was good to see the Sox shake off the grime of Sunday night’s loss and get back to business. Every member of the starting line-up had a hit [except Manny, who left the game after being plunked in the coconut during his first at-bat] and Wakefield went 6 innings, giving up seven hits and three runs. And Millar, he of the new aerodynamically-sound and NASA-approved facial hair, cranked his first home-run of the season.

Tonight, it’s A-Rod’s buddy “Brandon” — whose starts I look forward to with an enthusiasm previously reserved for Pedro’s — against Kirk Saarloos. Then on Wednesday, it’s Clement against Zito.

Oh, and by the way. I was watching the trailer for Billy Bob Thornton’s Bad News Bears remake, and was struck by how much Thornton, in his cap, reminded me of John Halama. Is it just me?