SAN FRANCISCO -- Between an over-the-head windup and constant self-analysis of his mechanics, Tim Lincecum admits he was "obviously" at the point where he was thinking too much.
On Tuesday afternoon, Lincecum went back to basics, throwing long toss with fellow starter Barry Zito as he searched for the feel that has eluded him during a career-long four-game losing streak.
Although long toss is a part of many pitchers' off-day routines, Lincecum said he is trying to incorporate it more in his than he has in the past.
"The whole purpose of it is to be able to get extension so I can get my pitches out in front and feel them coming off my finger tips, where I'm not pushing the ball to the plate, I'm pulling it, which is how I throw," Lincecum said. "I'm just trying to get that back that feeling, that's the whole reason behind it."
The struggles of Lincecum's worst season of his career -- in which he's still 11-8 with a 3.72 ERA and 173 strikeouts -- have been well-documented, as have been his frustrations. From tinkering with an over-the-head windup for two starts to meticulously analyzing his mechanics, Lincecum has constantly searched for answers.
A conversation with his father reminded him that, although his mechanics are about precision, they're also about feel.
"My dad's like, 'Timmy, you really shouldn't have to think so much to do this,'" Lincecum said. "Obviously, it's easy to say you've been doing this long enough, you've been using these mechanics long enough, but it comes down to the part where it's a feel, whether it feels good or it doesn't feel good, and it was getting to the point where I was over-thinking it instead of just feeling it out."