Critical hits when we need them most? A solid starting pitching performance from Julian Tavarez? Walk-off home-run by some kid from the goddam Yankees’ AAA team?

Who are these guys? And what have they done with my team?

Like the ex-girlfriend your mind won’t let you shake, the Red Sox came screaming back into my heart yesterday. Suddenly, I’m willing to overlook an August of discontent. Especially since it’s the time of year that, personally, I love watching baseball. Sure, there’s something to be said for a Saturday matinee against the Angels on a steaming July afternoon, cooler of Pabst and bikini-clad neighbors cavorting nearby. But a crisp, late September game with leaves and the smell of smoke starting to curl in the air? That’s magic.

It may all seem like too little too late, but according to my trusty slide rule, the Sox haven’t been officially chloroformed. As I’m accustomed to taking one step at a time, I’d just like to make this one, meager request to Peter Gammons and The Gods of Baseball:

Please let us sweep Chicago.