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Minnesota Twins: Tough Start for Nick Blackburn Curbed by Rick Anderson

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 11: Nick Blackburn #53 of the Minnesota Twins delivers a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning on August 11, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Tom SchreierCorrespondent IAugust 11, 2012

 Twitter told not only a tale of carnage and misery for Nick Blackburn of the Minnesota Twins in the first inning of Game 2 against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday, but also of how Dr. Andy saved the day.

Phil Mackey (ESPN 1500) commented on the first hit:

 

The first pitch was at 6:11. The first hit off Nick Blackburn was also at 6:11.

— Phil Mackey (@PMac21) August 11, 2012

 

Following that first hit, a Desmond Jennings single up the middle, B.J. Upton hit back-to-back home runs.

“I knew Jennings was going to swing on the first pitch, no doubt in my mind,” said Blackburn.

“To start off a game I was going to go with my strength obviously,” he continued, referring to his sinker. “Just didn’t get it there. Same thing with Upton and Joyce.”

 

John Shipley of the Pioneer Press commented:

 

BREAKING: Rays now cutting in line to move up in batting order.

— John Shipley (@shipleykid) August 11, 2012

 

Of all people, it was Evan Longoria who struck out that inning, but Ben Zobrist would single down the right field line and Blackburn would walk Carlos Pena.

 

FOX Sports’ Tyler Mason had this to say about Anderson going to visit the mound, 24 pitches in:

 

First mound visit of the game, and we're only one out into this thing. Blackburn is at 24 pitches, 3 R, 4 H, 1 BB. #MNTwins down 3-0.

— Tyler Mason (@FSNtylermason) August 11, 2012

 

 

The bleeding was awful; it was Mortal Kombat, Kill Bill and Monty Python rolled into one.

But then something happened.

With men on first and second, Jeff Keppinger hit a ball to Jamey Carroll, who turned a double play!

Mason again:

 

The mound visit worked. Blackburn gets Keppinger to hit into an inning-ending double play to stop the bleeding. #Rays 3, #MNTwins 0.

— Tyler Mason (@FSNtylermason) August 11, 2012

 

Dr. Andy clotted the bleeding and all was well.

Well, kind of…

Bollinger on Upton’s second solo shot:

 

Blackburn settled down after the first but just gave up a solo shot to Upton. #MNTwins down 4-1 in the fifth

— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) August 12, 2012

 

Just a flesh wound, just a flesh wound.

Blackburn would leave the game in the seventh after giving up back-to-back singles to Roberts and Molina.

The score was 4-2.

The StarTribune’s Michael Rand offered a fake Ron Gardenhire quote as Blackburn left the field:

 

"Blackie didn't have his best stuff, but he battled." -- #futuregardy

— RandBall (@RandBall) August 12, 2012

 

“A night kinda like last night,” said manager Ron Gardenhire, “they jumped on us the first inning and after that Blackie settled in nice.

“That’s the story of the game: first inning, three runs and there you have it.” 

 

All quotes were obtained first-hand.

Tom Schreier writes a weekly column for TheFanManifesto.com.

Follow him on Twitter @tschreier3.

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