Okay, even in my ribs-and-Coors fueled stupor, I can appreciate the fact that we were shut down, slapped up and utterly silenced by the exquisitely named Fausto Carmona. Beaten, plain and simple.

But still, there are a couple things that make me say, if only.

Like that ninth inning at-bat by Pedroia. That last pitch — though, having watched it a dozen times, not nearly as bad as I originally thought — looked like ball four. But by breaking for first base before the umpire’s call, Pedroia apparently earned himself a third strike. Umps hate when players pull that shyte. They also hate it when you fill their equipment bags with bran, though, admittedly, that doesn’t happen as much as it did in the good old days. Sigh.

Like that bizarre slow-down by Coco as he broke for the plate on Ortiz’ hit in the sixth. What was that all about? Did he just remember the name of a that high-school girlfriend who taught him the Scottish Backhand Maneuver? Was he receiving a secret coded message from Galactus in his head? Watching the replays, he literally just drops from a bolt to a jog, then awkwardly pushes himself toward the plate. Weird. And costly.

Like that botched hit-and-run in the top of the eighth. I imagine Tek is hanging Cora off the Key Tower by his jockstrap even as I type. And speaking of the eighth inning, there’s nothing more depressing to me these days than seeing Eric Hinske with a bat in his hands. On the bench, giggling and clapping, yes! In the batters box, with a game on the line, no! Please.

Like the fact that the dramatic comebacks are few and far between. It’s gotten so bad, when Ortiz came up in the ninth with two outs, I actually went for a beer. Last year, pulling that shit in my house would have earned you an instant beatdown. From my mother, no less.

And the Yankees I discounted and dismissed with a wave of my cigar are now making a slow but steady advance. Sure, I get nervous, but thank God Future Gammons — the alternate universe Peter Gammons who occasionally visits us here in the present and is immediately identifable as “super fancy” by the way he refers to a briefcase as a “valise” — already told us how the AL East is gonna end: Sox up by 5, Yanks out of the playoffs.