The crowd was chanting “LET’S GO PAPI,” refusing to give up on David Ortiz. And once again, the faithful were rewarded: His Papiness jacked his first home run of the season into the camera well in the center field triangle. You could almost see the weight lift off his shoulders as he took his first home run trot of 2009. The crowd responded with a standing ovation, his team mates swarmed him in the dugout, and Ortiz came out for a curtain call with a fist-pump and a smile.

The game quickly got out of hand as Cito Gaston left his rookie in to pitch batting practice in the fifth. Varitek had already homered (his second of the night), then the inaugural Papi shot, then after a Youk base hit, Bay and Lowell went back-to-back.

None of that really matters right now. The monkey is off Ortiz’s back and Red Sox Nation can breathe a little easier. If this was some kind of mental thing, if Ortiz was just thinking too much, this could be the beginning of something good.