We knew this ridiculous stretch against the Orioles couldn’t last. Like all good things in life, it had to eventually end. My hope, however, was that it would end in a more — what can I say — comfortable fashion. A 12-3 blow-out perhaps. Or a tight, expertly executed 1-0 shutout. Something that, after which, I could put down my pipe and monocle and say, “Jove, those Orioles simply proved the better club tonight. Perhaps tomorrow’s game will yield better fruit for our lads.”

Instead, I was left curled up on the floor, drooling Heineken and calling for Willie Harris’ head. Because the “making the last out of the game while attempting to steal” manuever is baseball’s equivalent of a swift kick to the berries. One minute, there is hope and possibility. In a blurred instant, sometimes before you even realize what’s going on, it’s all snuffed out. Good night, and good luck.

In defense of the Will man, it’s not like his teammates did much else throughout those nine innings against the birds. A measly five hits [although two by Loretta, who seems to be back in his good place] and a passed ball by Wake that allowed what turned out to be the winning run. I’ll also point to the ninth, where you have to give credit to Chris Ray for not collapsing like a sack of onions after giving up a two-run homer to Ortiz. As I sat on the edge of my chair tasting blood, Ray buckled down and struck out Manny and Lowell, setting the stage for The Will Harris Follies. Also, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a tiny bit thrilled to see El Bencho hit that two-run homer.

Now we get the dreaded off day before the horror show that is interleague play kicks in on Friday against Philadelphia. I don’t know about you, but unless they wanna inject a bit more variety into this — no more games against the Atlanta Braves… please. — I wouldn’t be against chloroforming the concept.