And so we survived Game One of the World Series. The freakin’ World Series.

Just when you thought you’d be sleeping again.

But I’m willing to sacrifice some precious Zs to see the Sox take home a World Series trophy. Hell, Boston’s already become the Dawn of the Dead. Is any tangible work getting done in offices across the Financial District? Is anyone scheduling early morning meetings next week? If your boss is, treat ’em to a little something I like to call “The Piss Frisbee.” That’ll teach ’em. [E-mail me for full instructions.]

Beyond the lack of sleep, there’ll also be those aches and pains. Last night, the Red Sox reminded us all to keep the Maalox I.V. handy. If Game One is any indicator, we’ve got another tough week ahead of us.

This one started brilliantly with a Papi three-run dinger in the first inning, but got U-to-the-G-to-the-LY fast, thanks to an ineffective Wakefield, a couple Manny errors and a torrent of hits from the relentless Cardinal bats. The Manny errors were particularly horrific — plays he has to make if we’re gonna go the distance here. The fact that he’d done a bit of “grandstanding” on his previous at bat, pointing his finger toward the dugout as he launched a single to left field [which seemed to steam the Great McCarver], didn’t make these flubs go down any easier.

But in the end, this band of self-proclaimed “idiots” came through again, with Robo-Bellhorn hitting his third home run in as many consecutive postseason games, and dizzying us all up with thoughts of the Sox actually winning this thing.

Also, good things happen when Johnny Damon gets on base, and he continued the revival kicked off in Game 7 of the ALCS, getting two hits, scoring a run and knocking one in. So to the future Mrs. Damon, I say: Whatever yer doing, keep it up.

On a serious note, it was a game that could have slipped away so many times. And previous Red Sox teams may have let it go. But ours in a tenacious bunch, and in a series in which homefield advantage is critical, they found a way to win. Again.

The Cardinals are a tough offensive bunch–Larry Walker is as menacing a hitter I’ve seen at the plate since Gary Sheffield–so this is going to be one of those chew-yer-nails-down-to-yer-feet kinda series. But after the ALCS, we’re already primed to expect nothing short of aliens bursting from John Henry’s chest. And we may just get that before we’re done.

So here we go. Five straight postseason wins. Pujols and Rolen held to an 0-for-8 showing. Keith Foulke flipped to “autopilot” mode. And we scratch and survive and we have Curt Schilling tonight against Matt Morris, and the possibility of going to St. Louis up two games to none. Which, considering the Card’s near-invicibility at home this year and during the playoffs, is exactly how you want to go to St. Louis.

Okay, we won the first two games in 1986 and lost the Series [and thanks to Butch “These Are Happy Times” Stearns for pointing that out immediately following the game]. And we lost the first three games of the ALCS and ended up winning the freakin’ thing. So you take from last night’s win what you will.

Me? I think any game in which we grab seven runs in the first three innings is a game we have to pocket, so I’m quite thrilled to take that 1-0 edge, thank you very much.

So it’s more pacing and stomach aches and missed dinners and blurred vision and missed deadlines and five o’clock shadows and Red Bull taken intravenously.

And we won’t stop. ‘Cause we can’t stop.

Oh, and the “Most Perceptive Journalist Alive” Award goes to the guy who noted during the postgame interview with Bellhorn: “Mark, you seem like a pretty laid back guy…”

Cue Pulitzer music here.

See you tonight.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Notes from Red Sox TV Nation

Actual Dialogue From the Fox 25 Pre-Game:

Cute Blonde Reporter in Monster Seats [to a father and son]: Hey, you guys are in the Monster Seats. Did you catch any balls yet?

Son: We saw like ten get hit up here but we only caught two.

Cute Blonde Reporter [turning to father]: You got two balls? Cough ’em up. Let’s see ’em.

Red [at home, watching game on his couch]: Christ, I wish I’d been taping that.

Red Sox This Week on UPN-38 Revisits ALCS

Notable for a good game-by-game overview, a superior musical montage of the post-Game 7 celebration and a quick but funny bit with Keith Foulke taking the American League Championship trophy through security at LaGuardia Airport. This is one to roll tape on while you watch Game 2, and it airs again tonight at 10:30pm [at least it’s supposed to be the same episode… you never know with that pesky UPN 38.]

And now… sleep.