Ballin' Blue Jays: An Astounding Start

Nick MurphyContributor IApril 18, 2009

CLEVELAND - APRIL 10: Marco Scutaro #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates with Aaron Hill  #2 and  Vernon Wells #10 after scoring against the Cleveland Indians in the seventh inning April 10, 2009 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

With the first 14 games of the season in the books, the remarkable Toronto Blue Jays are back in the game and sitting on top in the American League East with a record of 9-4. No one could have hoped for a better start.

Through an offseason in whcih financial woes seemed to be on everyone's mind (even MLB GMs), J.P. Ricciardi decided not to make any big moves and did not spend any money.

Some critics tore him a new one, suggesting that this method was the furthest thing from progress the team could possibly get, but what do those critics have to say now?

Sure, it's still early in the 162-game season, but any "True Blue" fan has to be excited about what we've seen so far this season.

With a total of 21 homers so far (seven coming from unexpected sluggers Marco Scutaro and Travis Snider), it seems like the hitting department is in full swing (pun intended). Plus, the top of the order is on point with the first six in the lineup all having reached double figures in hits.

It's almost as if every Disney sports movie ever made was right in saying that all you need to do is to play as a team, stick it out together through the tough times, and play as one while believing in both yourself and your mates.

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I'm not sure if I totally buy it, but maybe there is something to be said about keeping one group of players together so they become a more tightly knit unit instead of trying to trade away for the star individual players.

The only real question for the Jays now is whether or not their young and inexperienced pitching staff is up to the challenge of keeping the games close so that the Jays' bats can win contests for them.

Roy "Doc" Halladay is lighting it up like he usually does, going 3-0 so far this season and looking impressive all the while.

Young "hot-and-cold" star Jesse Litsch, on the other hand, has not looked particularly well in his first starts and apparently injured himself in Monday's game against Minnesota.

While all the pitchers on the staff welcome the challange of each game they play, whether or not they suceed is a completely different story. Newcomer David Purcey has gone 0-2 this season, squandering a chance at a victory a fourth inning debaucle last night against the Oakland Athletics. Jesse Carlson looks shaky as well, and even big time closer B.J. Ryan isnt flexing his muscles quite like he used to anymore.

So the question remains: Will the hard-hitting bats that have astounded and excited us thus far continue to crank out dingers, or will poor pitching drag down what could be one of the best Jays seasons we've seen in years?

I'm hoping for the former.