CHICAGO -- Veteran right-hander Matt Lindstrom was out of Major League action from May 19 through Aug. 13 following surgery to repair a tendon sheath in his left ankle. And although he feels healthy and strong, he believes that the feel on his pitches has been missing during the struggles over his last two appearances.
"Just being out for a couple of months, the feel for putting hitters away is not quite there yet," Lindstrom said. "I need to get it there. I'm not really helping the team out right now.
"I'm pounding the zone. I don't have a problem with that. It's getting guys with two strikes and not really knowing how to finish them. That's something that I've got to get through and over, and I've got to make sure that I can do that, because this is the big leagues. That's what it requires, especially late in the game."
Lindstrom has allowed seven hits and one walk over his last two trips to the mound, covering one-plus innings. He was ahead of three of the four hitters he faced on Monday and five of seven on Saturday. He has been using two types of breaking balls, but he said on Tuesday that he might dial back his repertoire to the "harder slider/cutter thing."
"I really want to get it fixed," he said. "I want to feel like I'm contributing to the team and not being the crutch. I feel like I'm just making too many two-strike mistakes. I think when the feel gets there, you won't be seeing me making those mistakes."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.