Thank God.

That’s the first thought that crept into my mind when Ortiz unfurled those tree-limb arms and crushed his first home run of the 2009 season to straightaway center.

Because now, I can sleep. I can eat. I can go about my nefarious ways without thinking something is amiss in the universe. Suddenly, everything makes sense again.

Since 2004, Papi’s smile has been an important part of the engine driving the Red Sox Machine. Didn’t matter how bad things got; when he smiled, we knew it was gonna work out.

But lately… seeing him slumped on the bench, looking deflated and beaten and as confused as a guy shuffling through the aisles of Victoria’s Secret the night before Valentine’s Day… it’s been painful. And while I believed he’d turn it around, I’d be lying if I said the doubt didn’t creep in from time to time. In fact, before last night’s game, I made a declaration to no one in particular: “He’s either gonna go yard tonight, or he’s never gonna do it the rest of the season.”

And, thankfully, he did go yard. And watching his teammates swarm him in the dugout, seeing the curtain call and the fist pumped in the air, brought back some of those 2004 memories. When the guy was a force of nature, and pitchers practically resigned themselves to having their asses dented every time he stepped to the plate. It just felt good.

Not like we were hurting for highlights last night. We had Youkbacca (patent pending) returning to the line-up and picking up where he left off, like some sort of deranged beast from the past found frozen in a block of ice who gets defrosted and gets right back to his savage ways. We had two home-runs from Varitek, another from Jason Bay, the Human Ass-Kicking Machine, and one from Lowell. Fifteen hits in all and a drubbing of the first-place Jays.

Could we become the first team to sweep Toronto in 2009? With Ortiz all fired up, anything is possible.

NOTE: And for those of you who asked, yesterday’s six posts did mark a new one-day record for productivity here at SG. The closest we’ve come in the past was that day I thought I saw Amalie Benjamin at the local Walgreens and proceeded to follow her down 128.