Ever since Big Lee Smith came in for his first-ever relief appearance for the Red Sox and promptly coughed up the game, I’ve learned to temper my expectations. So the more “sensible” side of my brain has already removed any possibility of a Red Sox postseason run in 2014.

But then there’s that other part of my brain, admittedly smaller, that says it ain’t over until the math says it’s over.

Needless to say, these two sides were kicking the crap out of each other last night, after the Red Sox won the first game of the “second half” — where dreams come true, according to Major League Baseball — and their fifth in six games. The reality is that we are 8.5 games out of first, and seated at the very bottom of the East, and aren’t faring much better in the wild card standings (7 back).

But seeing Jonny Gomes, the human embodiment of the 2013 team, knock a dramatic pinch-hit home run right after Xander Bogaerts showed signs of second life with a two-run homer of his own got me firing up the bandwagon once again. And asking “why not us?” for roughly the 548,391th time in my life.

Truth is I can’t quit these guys. I couldn’t when they were hitching our hopes to Andre Dawson and John Dopson, and I can’t now. It’s just how I’m wired.

So I’m gonna sit back and relax and assume that every game gets us closer to the parade. Until the math tells me otherwise.

Right, Shane?