This is what we've been doing all season. That team that finished off the game tonight with the two-out hits, that is the team that got the big hits and finished off the regular season.
The tying hit by Orlando Cabrera was just huge, but so were the hits by Bengie Molina, because that is what we have, a bunch of clutch hitters in here.
Bengie Molina is such an underrated player, but look at his hits. They are big and usually come at big times.
It was scary, too, for a while because it seemed like a repeat of last night. Everything we tried to do didn't work out. We'd get a hit, but the runner was stranded. Bengie Molina had a hit-and-run but Robinson Cano makes a great play. It just seemed like we were snake-bit, but John Lackey did a great job. He had some tough innings, but it was a great start.
It might not get noticed, but his effort was huge. You know, if he'd let the deficit get out to 3-0, 4-0, that would have been difficult to come back from. A three-run deficit is really tough, but a one- or two-run deficit is much easier and I think it was important how well John pitched for us tonight.
But the bullpen stepped in and really shut things down. I think Kelvim Escobar is our secret weapon. It is nice to have that option of throwing Escobar for two or three innings and he comes in and does such a great job. That allows us to use Scot Shields in a critical situation like tonight, when he throws two pitches and gets Derek Jeter in the sixth with runners on the corners.
That hit by Orlando Cabrera was such a big play, though, and showed what kind of team we are. He's not a guy that hits .320, but he gets some of the biggest hits and that one tonight was everything for us. Just before that, there was a fly ball with first and second and less than two out, and it was such a letdown, but Cabrera came back with that big hit and restored so much confidence in our team.
Now we can go into Yankee Stadium and not be down 0-2. It was important that we go in there even and now we have a chance to close it out there. I have a chance to make a difference and so does Jarrod Washburn. And if we need it, we have Bartolo Colon able to come back in Game 5.
We have to go in there and not take anything for granted. We can't let the fans take us out of our game, we have to go in there and play our game.
I'm excited and honored to be handed the ball on Friday. You know, Wash has the fourth-lowest ERA in the league. You look at the guys that we have pitching and this is the best staff I've ever been on. These guys are the best and I'm honored to be a part of it.
Paul Byrd's journal appears as told to MLB.com reporter Mike Scarr. Byrd's journal will appear regularly while the Angels are in the playoffs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less