Mike Timlin is back.

The Mike Timlin who tore through the 2003 playoffs? The one who had opposing batters pissing streams of fear and contemplating nights off? He’s back. That guy.

For the second night in a row, Timlin came up big while all of us — you know who you are — sat at home quivering under warm blankets, wondering precisely what the trajectoy of the upcoming home run was going to be, because this was Mike Timlin on the mound, for chrissakes, and the guy lives to give up the long ball so would you just let him throw one and get it over with so I can finish my beer in peace?

Only… he didn’t. He came in with the bases loaded and the Sky Dome beer girl passing out celebratory shots of Moosehead, and proceeded to come up huge, striking out the first two batters then getting a ground out. All of a sudden, it’s jam over. Thank you, and good night.

As starting pitcher Tim Wakefield put it, “Mike deserves the win, not me.”

What I like about Timlin is that he looks positively batshit. Like the guy who mutters to himself in the street and lives behind your Aunt Netty’s house in a streamlined silver trailer with a “Protected by Smith & Wesson” sticker on it and about whom the townspeople speak in hushed tones using sentences like, “He once killed a man with his feet” and “I saw him have relations with a tree.” Much like greasy Rod Beck, he looks like the kinda guy who leaves the ballpark to curl up in a distant alleyway, Night Train and porno mag in hand.

And I think this works to his advantage. Hell, I’d like to see him work it a little more… drool and snarl at the batter, chew on the ball, draw eyes and a mouth on the rosin bag and argue with it between pitches about the subtle nuances that distinguish Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell from Bat Out of Hell 2. Anything to keep that edge. Anything to keep this fire burning within him through September.

Also… Sox, Yankees and Rangers all win last night by a score of 5-4. Coincidence? Right. That’s just what the Russians want us to think.

And does Tito plan on starting Minty a couple games this month? After some of the defensive plays he’s made of late at first base, I’d like to see him there with a bit more regularity.