First things first, after the second game of the season, with nothing but baseball surging through our minds, I’m a little concerned that the best thing my counterpart could write about was whether or not I’m working for Orbitz. I read that last post, scratched my head, and simply thought, “Well, that’s just the mystery of Denton.”

Back on Planet Earth, with Lester on the mound, I didn’t have much worry going into last night’s game. One of last year’s rock-solid, bona fide heros, undefeated in sixteen starts at Fenway, taking on a guy with a propensity, despite the fits he’s given us through the years, for the occasional break down on our home turf? This one looked damn good on paper, my friends. And when Lester charged out of the gate with five Ks across the first two innings, I kept checking the seats behind home plate to see if Frank Capra was sitting there.

Turns out, though, that the highlight of the game was Rocco Baldelli’s diving stab of a sinking drive in the top of the fourth–”flashing some leather” as the Wall Street types might say while tugging at their lapels. Lester unraveled, giving up an un-Lesterian 8 hits and 5 runs through five innings, while Kazmir–who, like Ted Lilly and Andy Pettitte before him, has me subconsciously logging “L”s for the Sox whenever we face him–just kept krusing.

It was more or less over by the fifth inning, and it left my mind spinning well past midnight (well, after the break for Lost, of course). These first few games of 2009, I thought, are like a microcosm of the season. The Sox and Rays will likely grind it out while the billion-dollar Yanks implode. And was last night’s game the shape of things to come for our offense, folding like deck chairs against decent pitching (Lowell and Lowrie and Tek were almost painful to watch at the plate, going a combined 0-fer-10)? And who exactly does Heidi Watney think she is, repeatedly turning down my offers of a free meal at Sbarros?

On the bright side, it’s good to get the first loss of the season out of the way. I mean, imagine if we started the year with a four, five or ten game winning streak? There’d be ESPN cameras hogging the field at every start, NESN “streak watch” graphics to contend with, interviews with Fred Lynn and Bob Montgomery about just how far this 2009 team can go before earning its first loss.

You can have that shit, padre. I’m glad it’s over with. And we come locked and loaded this afternoon.