They’re not dead, our boys. Not by a long shot. But in the aftermath of The Series About Which We Shall No Longer Speak, I’m left a tad… deflated. I knew we weren’t gonna roll through this with five victories, but I never, ever expected dropping all of them.

But we did. And each loss seemed slightly more disturbing than the last, particularly yesterday’s so-close-we-can-taste-it jobber which wasted a supreme effort by David Wells, who turned out to be one of the few Sox pitchers to sack up for this five game extravaganza.

This was the series in which we were gonna dig in our heels, stop the advance and try to win back a little ground in the AL East race. And it turned into a travesty. A lopsided embarrassment. Like a big schlong contest between Peter North and Peter Dinklage. Only we weren’t Peter North, if you get what I’m saying.

Clawing our way into October won’t be easy. But it can be done. If Coco starts acting like a leadoff hitter and, y’know, actually gets himself on base and sh-t. If Beckett can locate his sack, re-attach it, and infuse himself with a bit of the swagger that propelled him through the 2003 playoffs. If Wily Mo can be a little more judicious with that Bunyanesque swing of his, and not flail away at anything and everything that comes within his orbit. If every member of the bullpen not named “Papelbon” can be bitten by a radioactive spider. If we can rediscover the art of the timely hit. If Wakefield gets better real, real soon. If Javy Lopez falls through a time vortex and gets transported to the year 1772 (well, okay, that would leave us in Mirabelliland, which is patently worse… but the idea of Javy flipping down a vortex, arms outstretched and yelling “Ahhhhhhhhgggggg” like the family going down the waterfall in Land of the Lost is quite appealing to me.) If Gabe Kapler can… well, there’s really not much we can ask of a bench guy, but these days, seeing Kap in the field or at the plate makes my nuts hurt. And I don’t like feeling that way about our man Mazel Tough.

Of course, despite their current trajectory, there’s still lots to be excited about. Like Manny. And Papi’s run for MVP. And the Papel-Bot. And Kelly the Ball Girl. And Wally. And Remy. These are the things that make life worth living for me, and I will continue to feast upon their exploits, because I know all too well how long and cold the winter months can be when they’re not around.

See you tonight for the late show in Anaheim.