Nick Blackburn has always been tough to figure out. Finishing the last couple seasons with a "well-rounded" total of 11-11, he looks to be skidding into similar figures towards the end of June.
But what worries me isn't so much the new advent of suck, but it coming after a phenomenal month of May. Blackburn was 5-0 in May, winning all of his decisions. He pitched at least seven innings in every start, as well as starting off the month with a complete game.
With a 2.65 ERA during the month, Blackburn started out to 6-1 and looked like one of the best pitchers in the league.
This month, Blackburn is 0-3 in four starts. Besides his great start in Atlanta where he got no run support, Nick lasted 3.2, 2.2 and 1.2 innings. Last night he all but imploded, giving up 8 runs to the fledgling Phillies. To add another hurtful statistic, Blackburn's ERA for the month of June is a lofty 12.00.
So what happened? Blackburn seemed to find something in May, and seemed to lose just about everything that made him successful during June. If he continues on the down-slide, is he worth being kept around?
I think the Twins should think about being shoppers before July 31st's trade deadline and retool the starting rotation that remains consistently been inconsistent.
But there might be hope: Something that really caught my eye is Blackburn's month-by-month ERA. April ended at 6.85, May at 2.65 and June at 12.00. What could possibly make someone a completely different pitcher based on the month? (And don't think I'm asking a ton of questions to reveal a genius answer, I have no clue.)
So here's to July, Nick Blackburn. If it's an every-other-month kind of thing, we'll be sitting pretty.