On paper, are you freakin’ kidding me? Daisuke Matsuzaka, our $100 million Monster Island import versus something called “Andy Sonnanstine” with a 1-8 record, 6.35 ERA and winless since June? Dude, why are we even playing this game? Just send the guys to Daisy Buchanans and have NESN show some re-runs of The Dennis Eckersley Home Dentistry Hour.

Honestly, I was still so high off the fumes of Tuesday night’s win that when the wheels started falling off, I just sat there grinning like a smacked ass, certain that the lads would turn it on and turn it around.

And in the ninth, after Julio Lugo knocked in a run after fouling off what seemed like 27 pitches, I was convinced we were gonna do it again; another come-from-behind win on the heels of a spectacular come-from-behind win. I mean, we had the tying run on second with nobody out and the top of the order coming up, against the Devil Rays. As my good pal Rossi pointed out, there’s gotta be some MLB rule that states any team in that position against the Rays automatically gets the W.

Sadly, it all came crashing back to earth pretty quickly. Dustin pulls that bizarre I’m-bunting-no-I’m-hitting-no-I’m-bunting maneuver and fails to advance the runner. Then Youk whiffs. Then Ortiz walks, setting the stage for a Manny vs. Reyes throwdown, which ended with one of the ugliest swings I’ve seen from Manny all season. Just like that — poof — it’s gone. There’s no Santa Claus. You wife’s banging the mailman. And Keyser Soze just strolled out of your police station.

I thought about this one all night, wondering if this game isn’t foreshadowing of how the season’s going to end — getting eversoclose but just not close enough to seal the deal. Holy god, against a guy with an ERA over 6, our offense could muster only four measly hits across 6 and 2/3 innings. More alarming, the first five guys in our line-up were a combined 1-for-21, good enough for the wooden spoon any night of the week.

But in the end, I choose to take the “glass is half-full” perspective. A game that seemed lost was suddenly within our grasp, and that’s gotta count for something. Right?