I remember the feeling I used to get before every Pedro Martinez start. It was like being a kid waiting for Christmas morning, your birthday, and hot photos of a semi-nude Pamela Anderson to inexplicably drop from an airplane into your backyard tree fort.

It was good to feel that again last night.

Even though he didn’t win — and by now, it should be apparent to all that the fix is in and Major League Baseball, already paid off by Steinbrenner Inc., will do everything in its power to ensure a Yankees World Series victory, thus making a Yanks victory hollow and asterisk-worthy — he put on a hell of a show: Six plus innings, three earned runs and eight Ks. And he seemed completely unfazed by the “Who’s Your Daddy” chants raining down from the mentally challenged crowd.

And, to paraphrase the great Morgan Freeman at the end of Shawshank Redemption, I hope that last night’s Pedro performance, even though he didn’t beat the Yanks, puts some fear back in the hearts of New York fans. I hope Pedro has a chance to face them again. I hope that the next game he pitches will be the Phillies’ 2009 World Series clincher. I hope he’s on the mound when the Yanks’ 2009 title aspirations get flushed out to sea. I hope he gets carried off the mound by his teammates after striking out A-Rod to end the series. I hope, at that precise moment, every member of the Yankees organization is brought up on steroids charges. I hope that NY fans spend the night burning their livers with whiskey while Pedro is crowned mayor of Philly. I hope Rodan picks up the new Yankee Stadium with his massive claws and carries it out to sea, tossing it into the tide like an empty soda can.

I hope. I hope.