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Angels need to strike quick

Angels need to strike quick

ANAHEIM -- Their pitching has been absolutely outstanding.

They've been handed a three-run lead and they've gone out and protected it and not given it up. They're simply not giving runs back and you have to give them credit for that.

Their hitters are clicking, too. They're getting the big hits and they're getting the timely hits. They've been able to string the hits together and put together some key rallies.

We've struggled offensively, no doubt, but I'd have to say that they're just pitching better than we are.

In fact, all the way around they've been better than us in this series. It's funny, too, because we played them well during the year, but they've been getting it done in this series.

Some balls have gone their way and they've been getting the calls. But that is what happens when you play well; it seems things just go your way and that is the way it's going for the White Sox right now.

For us to stay alive, we're going to have to have somebody step up. We need to strike quick and seize the momentum.

It wasn't just because he is a rookie, but Ervin Santana didn't have his best stuff Saturday night. He never quite settled in. But you know, bottom line is we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him, so we can't hang this loss on him. Hopefully, we'll give him the opportunity to have another start in the postseason.

The pitch to Paul Konerko he hung a bit, but that happens. I hang pitches; we all do. But good hitters hit mistakes and they often hit them far, and that is what Konerko did. Our guys aren't getting the same mistakes to hit.

I'm excited to start tomorrow. I told the guys that I'm up to the challenge. We could be home watching this whole thing from the couch, but we're here and we might as well make the most of it.

I don't expect the offense to carry me and I don't think any pitcher does when they take the mound. I need to dominate from the first inning and give the team a chance to win.

Jose Contreras will start Game 5 and he's a great pitcher. He's not going to give up a lot of runs, so I'm going to have to do my part.

It is going to take a team effort Sunday. We are going to need good defense. It's going to take everyone from here on out. This is a definition of a must-win.

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.

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