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McGowan, Jays eying second half
Dustin mcgowan
Dustin McGowan
The American League won its 10th All Star Game in a row over the National League, 5-4, Tuesday.
With the mid-season break over, the Toronto Blue Jays and Long County’s Dustin McGowan will now focus on completing the season and getting into the post series tournament.  
The team is currently in second place in the American League East with a record of 43-44, 10 games behind the Boston Red Sox, who still have the best record in the majors, at 53-34. The New York Yankees are also 10 behind the Sox, at 42-43.
Considering the number of injuries the Blue Jays have had to deal with this year, the team has done well to be where they are. In the first three months of the year, 12 different Toronto players fell to the disabled list.
With the second half of the season under way, the team will need some of those injured players back on the field to make a run for the playoffs.
One player who was given an opportunity to start as a result of one of these injuries was McGowan, a native of Ludowici. Back in April when pitcher Gustavo Chacin went down with a shoulder injury, the right-hander was called up from Syracuse.
After a shaky start, the Ludowici ace has established himself as a solid starter and according to reports has a foothold on remaining in the starting rotation.
McGowan has had several quality starts, but on June 24 the 25-year-old pitcher almost made history in pitching one of the best games in Toronto Blue Jay history.
Facing the Colorado Rockies the pitcher didn’t give up a hit until the ninth inning.  He completed the game, only allowing one hit and showed the Jays and the rest of baseball he had the “right stuff” to be a dominate pitcher.
But even though he has been brilliant at times and solid in the majority of his starts, he also has shown he is still a young pitcher who can be lit up like everyone else in the majors. Recently, McGowan was asked about his performance this season and what the Jays had to do to make the playoffs.
“We have to really get on a couple of good winning streaks to start the second half,” McGowan said.
“We open up with Boston and New York, so this will be the most important trip of the season.”
When asked about his season, he said, “My performance has been pretty good to this point, but I would like to get it where I am more consistent, rather than a good game and then a bad game.”
McGowan’s wife, Jilly, who has seen the ups and downs of being in the minors and the majors, was also asked how this year had been different.
 “This season has been more consistent than last year. We have only been moved around once so far, and that was from Syracuse to Toronto, which is never a burden,” she said.
“Last year, at this time, we had already been back and fourth a couple of times, so planning has been a lot easier as far as traveling and living arrangements.”
Jilly McGowan also expressed a lot of pride in her husband’s accomplishments this year.
“It is only the All-star break and Dustin has had a couple of the best games of his career. It has been really fun and invigorating watching him accomplish these things.”
McGowan and the Blue Jays are being tested right out of the gate in the second half of the season. They began a four-game series against Boston at Fenway Park Thursday and will try to close the gap between the two teams.
McGowan will be back on the mound in the third game of that series this Saturday.
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