Nick Blackburn: Why the Twins' Pitcher Should Be Known as the Incredible Hulk

Chris SchadContributor IIIJune 28, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 17: Nick Blackburn #53 of the Minnesota Twins reacts as Corey Hart #1 of the Milwaukee Brewers rounds the bases after hitting a three run home run during the fifth inning of an interleague game on June 17, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Evildoers in the American League Central, beware! Though you may have an army of legitimate Major League hitters, the Minnesota Twins have a Hulk.

At the beginning of his career, Nick Blackburn looked to be a solid sinker-ball pitcher that would follow the lead of ex-Twin Carlos Silva. If Blackburn could pitch to contact, go deep into games, and give the Twins some solid innings and a low pitch count, "Blacky" would be doing his job.

Unfortunately in 2012, Blackburn has shown his one weakness: He's "too strong" between starts.

Yes, when Nick Blackburn gets angry (or in this case ready to come into a Major League Baseball game), something comes over him that nobody in the major leagues can comprehend or has experienced before.

The rumble of the ground at Target Field causes the concourses to shake and loads of sauerkraut at the Kramarczuk's sausage stand to go flying into the air, due to the weight of Blackburn's earned run average (7.74 after Wednesday afternoon's five-inning performance against the Chicago White Sox).

The worst part is that the Twins have no idea how to harness Blackburn's unbelievable strength. While some days, the signs are obvious (such as Blackburn pulling a semi-trailer with his teeth before a start), other times he will look pedestrian but then virtually rip through his jersey to show his true power.

The opponents have been terrified by this as they've swung their bat harder in self defense. Actually, if you turn the volume up you can hear opposing hitters scream something like "DUNN SMASH!!!" in fear of Blackburn's 90 mph fastball shattering their bat.

These happenings have given Blackburn a season he'd like to forget, as he's on pace for one of the worst seasons by a starting pitcher in major league history. Still, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire throws him out there with the hope that one day, he can remain Bruce Banner for seven innings.

So if the Twins come to town and you feel an uneasiness through the air, don't worry, as the Hulk has come to break your team out of its slump.

Just don't make him angry, because Twins fans won't like him when he's angry...but your favorite team will.