Baseball people like to tell you about their natural, deep-in-the-belly talent for turning the page and leaving yesterday’s bad outing right where it belongs: with yesterday.

Yet there was Red Sox manager John Farrell late yesterday afternoon, telling the world that his team’s catastrophic loss to the Cardinals in Game 3 of the World Series hitched a ride with him back to the hotel.

“It wasn’t a normal night of sleep, I know that,” said the embattled manager, whose every move the past week has been placed under a microscope by anxious Red Sox fans. (One Twitter wise guy went so far as to suggest Farrell dress up like Grady Little for Halloween. Ouch.)

But the betting here is that Farrell slept better last night. The betting here is that all Red Sox fans slept better last night.

Thanks to a three-run, sixth-inning home run by last-minute lineup addition Jonny Gomes, and thanks to an impassioned, impromptu in-game speech by David Ortiz, but thanks, too, to Farrell finding a way to stitch together an All Hands on Deck pitching corps, the Red Sox emerged with a crazy 4-2 victory in Game 4 of the World Series last night at Busch Stadium that ended with closer Koji Uehara picking off pinch-runner Kolten Wong.

Incredibly, this World Series now is deadlocked at two wins apiece, with Sox ace Jon Lester on the mound tonight in Game 5 against the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright.

Anyone see this coming?

Let’s begin with the fact that the Red Sox’ starter, Clay Buchholz, has been out of sorts and wobbly lately, to the degree that the team at least explored the possibility of using starter Jon Lester on three days’ rest.

Buchholz’ performance should be an inspiration for Red Sox chairman Tom Werner’s next smash-hit sitcom: “That 80s Show.” Because that’s mostly what Buchholz threw for four innings, 80s, 80s and more 80s. Yet he allowed only one unearned run in his four innings, after which a Red Sox-themed quilt of relievers — Felix Doubront, Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa, John Lackey, Uehara — took over.

On a night when everyone wanted to talk about how Gomes hit the big homer after being inserted as a starter for an ailing Shane Victorino, or wanted to talk about Doubront’s second straight strong relief outing, or Big Papi’s dugout address, Farrell wanted to talk about Buchholz.

When a reporter asked him about Doubront, the manager interrupted and said, “I don’t want to skip over Clay Buchholz. That was four innings. So much attention was brought to (him) — ‘Can he make it?’ ‘What’s he going to give you?’ A lot of scrutiny about his situation, but given that he might not have had his midseason stuff . . . he gave us everything he could.”

For Farrell to bring up Buchholz without even being asked to do so suggests the level of emotion the Red Sox were feeling last night. It was on display, too, with Gomes. Asked to describe his own emotions over starting in the World Series and hitting a three-run homer, he said, “I’d probably screw it up or mess things up if I tried to put it words.”

And then he continued, and with sparkling eloquence.

“What’s going on inside here is pretty special, magical, and there are so many people and so many mentors and so many messages, so many helping paths and helping ways for me to get here,” he said. “And then I step into the box in the World Series and I’m all alone.”


And then, David Ortiz. He doubled in the fifth inning and, from second base, could be seen screaming encouragement to his teammates. He eventually would score on a sac fly by, yes, Stephen Drew, and Big Papi soon was pulling a Knute Rockne in a corner of the Sox dugout, hollering at the boys, “We’re going inside of ’em, we’re going outside of ’em — inside of ’em! outside of ’em! — and when we get them on the run once, we’re going to keep ’em on the run!”