Jays hanging in despite injuries

JODY VANCE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:26 AM ET

The sheer numbers couldn't be ignored.

Today, a round of applause for those who hung in there through what could have been, and perhaps should have been, one of the darkest times in Blue Jays history.

The season had only just begun when the injury bug bit. Each day brought more bad news, as the disabled list reached a shocking number of nine. Names like B.J. Ryan, Brandon League, Gregg Zaun, Reed Johnson, Troy Glaus, Gustavo Chacin and, then, gasp, Halladay.

The mass majority considered the season a bust and who'd blame them? It was almost laughable, if not completely hysterical, depending on your vantage point.

With millions upon millions of dollars on the DL, it was Murphy's Law at its worst. With Jays fans sobbing into their Labatt Blue -- the few healthy guys left in the clubhouse somehow found a way to surprise us all and compete.

Of course, they are still on the wrong side of .500 and miles back from the seemingly unbeatable Red Sox, but, believe it or not hope exists.

While the offence continues to underachieve, pitching has been the bright spot -- and young pitching at that.

Led by the de facto leader A.J. Burnett (he's only 30), Shaun Marcum (25), Dustin McGowan (25), Jeremy Accardo (25), Casey Janssen (25) and, of course, the baby-faced Jesse Litsch (22), these guys provided the Jays an injection of promise when they needed it the most.

Not as great as having your "best arm" return as is the case tonight vs. the White Sox. Roy Halladay isn't a numbers guy but tonight "The Doctor" will go for win No. 100, in his first game as a 30-year-old (May 13 was his B-day).

Perhaps Frank Thomas will support the Doc and heat up against his former mates and get closer to his magic 500th homer. All of these are numbers you can count on.

Jody Vance is a sportscaster with Leafs TV. Her columns appear Tuesdays and Thursdays in 24 hours.


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