By mid-game, last night’s Florida-fest threatened to be another Timberland to the groin. Another evening of watching helpless as the Rays pummel one of our starters, our offense gets slapped down with a wave of the “mute” button, and Raymond, the Devil Rays mascot, feels up our lady. After Alex Cora grounded out meekly with two men on in the bottom of the fifth, I chalked this one up to Tampa Bay and turned my attention to a stale bowl of Wheat Thins.

But then it all came together. Starting with a four run sixth. A home run from Manny. A double from Nixon. A timely Wily Mo hit with the bases loaded. Again, a timely Wily Mo hit with the bases loaded?! Screw this noise, I thought, putting down the arsenic. We could be on to something.

And we were. In what turned out to be a truly 2004-esque effort, our boys pushed in nine runs across the last four innings. And the bullpen made it stand, with Foulke delivering two solid innings and The Papel-Bot simply showing up, administering three blistering strike outs, then receiving the appropriate accolades. The guys makes it look so easy, I almost wondeer how long ’til he hits the mound in his easy chair and smoking jacket to dole out the punishment? Man, I am savoring the thought of seeing him on the mound in a one-run ninth against our friends from New York this week. Like, to the point that it’s almost surpassed that fantasy involving Eva Longoria, four pairs of wax lips and a church choir.

Okay. Enough horse crap. It’s Schilling Standard Time.