CLEVELAND -- Monday night ended with a much-needed zero in the run column for Matt Lindstrom. But he still hasn't conquered all of the issues that have led to a seven-game mini-slump.
Lindstrom has given up 15 hits in his past seven appearances, covering 6 1/3 innings. He also has yielded six runs in that time.
The right-hander forced a Grady Sizemore double-play grounder to escape the sixth inning of the Rockies' 8-7 victory over the Indians on Monday night. But Lindstrom was not happy with the previous at-bat, when Lou Marson kept the inning going with a single to center. Lindstrom had two strikes, but he didn't come near the strike zone with two consecutive sliders. He had to go with the fastball, and Marson connected.
Lindstrom (2-1, 2.73 ERA) says he is trying improve his location and become less predictable.
"I used both of my fastballs and threw a good two-seamer to Sizemore to get the double play, but it was the same thing -- I got to two strikes and had a couple of chances to put him away with my slider or something else," Lindstrom said. "He ended up getting the count full and getting a base hit.
"It's being able to put hitters away when you get ahead of them like that, and not letting them back into fastball counts. Something was brought to my attention by one of the guys in the clubhouse about being predictable, and that I need to be unpredictable."
Manager Jim Tracy said the encouraging sign is that Lindstrom's fastball is going through the zone at 97 mph with movement, but he could enhance his effectiveness with better pitch selection.
"It's not so much predictable, but it's making the wrong choice," Tracy said. "He's done a terrific job of getting ahead in the count in a number of situations. I'll go back to the series against Detroit, the bases-loaded at-bat when [Ryan] Raburn hit the ball into the gap [for a two-run double].
"After he had gotten to two strikes very quickly and he threw a breaking ball in the dirt, I don't know, I guess he didn't think the guy was going to chase, but he had pitches to play with and he immediately went right back to the fastball against a guy who is a good fastball hitter, and put it in a bad spot."