The Hulk = the Red Sox. Guy getting slapped = every other team.

While it would be nice to think that the Sox really will be all “Hulk Smash” from here through September, I’m not counting on anything. They took two out of three from the Yanks, which was awesome, but when the dust and empties cleared, it just brought us back to being a .500 team. Right where we were on Opening Day.

That said, in the tenth inning of last night’s game, when Bobby V and Beckett were both ejected for arguing with the umps’ ruling that Middlebrooks wasn’t hit by a pitch, I saw more fire from both of them than I have all season. Maybe that win doesn’t make a huge difference in the standings, but it might be the thing that finally sparks us to a stretch of consistently good–and, we can only hope, winning–baseball.

Of course, Beckett’s days in Boston continue to be, by most accounts, numbered, assuming we can get someone to take him off our hands. After he was ejected, I had images of him heading into the clubhouse, grabbing a bottle of whiskey, and stumbling out into the moist Bronx evening, never to be seen (as a Red Sox) again. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. But the trade deadline could be very, very interesting. And will likely shape our chances for competing in October.