Angels are facing tough pitchers

Angels are facing tough pitchers

ANAHEIM -- We looked a little flat early on.

There is no one formula. There is no one reason you could point to for why a team struggles. If you could, then you would be able to just point out the problem and be able to fix it, but it isn't that easy.

It's hard to put a finger on why the offense is struggling. Vladimir Guerrero is struggling and it looks like his timing is off. Orlando Cabrera is hitting, but remember, we're facing some really good pitching.

Saturday's game is important, because we're down 2-1 now and we don't want to go down 3-1.

The biggest way for us to fix it is to turn the page, and fortunately we're pretty good at doing that. We've been in tough spots a lot this year, so we're confident we'll be able to put this behind us.

John Lackey has been throwing so well start after start that it seemed the law of averages caught up with him. You can't have your best stuff night after night or start after start. He didn't have his best stuff and it caught up to him.

There wasn't a sharpness on his breaking ball that there usually is. You have to give credit to Paul Konerko. He recognized the pitch and put a good swing on it.

I think that Kevin Gregg did a great job coming out of the bullpen and I thought that Brendan Donnelly did an excellent job, too, when he came in with two on and nobody out. He gets a big strikeout of Carl Everett and then the double play. That's huge and what you need on a night like tonight.

But scoring runs on Jon Garland was really tough and you have to tip your cap, because he came out and did his job.

Garland was phenomenal and it shows that what people expect is often the reverse of what actually happens.

The Angels were supposed to be too tired to play and we went out and won. Garland hadn't pitched in two weeks and he wasn't supposed to be sharp. That was probably the best thing that could have happened to him, because he was as sharp as I've seen him.

The last time we faced these guys, Mark Buehrle, Garland, we beat them up pretty good, but they've come back and pitched really well against us, so you have to give them credit.

It's two really good pitching staffs going at it and runs are not going to come cheap. We're going to have to earn it.

It is encouraging, though, to know that we have two more games here in Anaheim. Our fans are great and if we win Saturday, it's all tied again. We like being here.

Ervin Santana is going Saturday. He's rested and he's looked really sharp. I'm excited and I like him in the playoffs. But they have Freddy Garcia going, so it should be a good matchup.

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.