Ever been so mad, so possessed by otherworldy anger that you just wanted to roll on up to the nearest fruit stand, one of those nice, quiet places frequented by old folks and guys wearing straw hats, and simply set fire to it? How about punching a priest square in the nuts (careful… some of them enjoy this)? Kicking a guy in a bunny suit?

Dudes and dudettes, I’m all about the anger right now. And all I can do is type. With two bloody fingers at a time. Talk about a buzzkill.

Tonight’s game… do we really want to talk about it? Do we really want to mention the ALCS at all? Somehow the joy has been surgically extracted from Mudville, and everything we loved about this team and all the good vibes we were busy basking in and knitting sweaters with have become cold torrents of rain and disaster and just like that, the Red Sox are down 0-2.

Can’t blame Pedro for this one. Not vintage Petey, but a respectable three runs over six innings. He left his blood, sweat and tears on the mound, with 50,000 plus crying for his head.

No, this one falls on the shoulders of the offense.

Our offense has officially left the building. At the worst possible time, no less. And let’s be men and women enough to admit that Matsui’s fielding was as big a factor in that Game 1 outburst as any of our bats.

Over the first two games, the three hitters at the top of our order [Damon, Bellhorn and Manny] are a combined 3 for 24. Yeah, you read that right. Damon, the worst offender, is hitless in 8 at bats. Bell and Manny have one hit apiece.

Millar is 1 for 7, and has looked positively sickening at the plate, swinging at a few pitches that I swear weren’t even in the same dimension.

So now there are five games left in the ALCS. We will need to win four of them. Feel good about our chances? The folks we’ll be counting on to help us earn those wins are named Wakefield, Arroyo and [quite possibly] Lowe. Now how do you feel?

Also, we’ve likely lost Schilling for the rest of the ride.

Suddenly, it’s starting to look more like the 1999 ALCS than the 2003 version.

So we’re thisclose to watching the Yankees step over us, yet again, on their way to a date with the Cards or the Astros in the World Series. The eternal bridesmaids are we, clearing out our lockers and looking curiously toward a 2005 edition of the home town team that will likely not include Pedro or Lowe. This is our best shot at that elusive brass ring… and we’re dropping the ball.

The only silver lining? We do have home field mojo. But we’re gonna need every last blessed ounce of it this weekend. Lest we watch Rivera, Sheffield and A-Rod celebrate in our house.

Also, hitting? We’ll need to do some of that.

It isn’t over yet, my friends.

But doesn’t it feel like it is?