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Teammates Remember Jose Lima

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Former Dodgers right-handed pitcher Jose Lima in his last public appearance at Dodger Stadium Friday night. Photo used by permission/Jon SooHoo
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October 9, 2004 is a day most Dodger fans will never forget. After the team had won the NL West title for the first time since 1995, they had yet to win a postseason game since winning the World Series against the Oakland Athletics in 1988. And just like in 1988 when they had Kirk Gibson to be the emotional leader for the team, “Lima Time” was instrumental in the Dodgers’ run to the postseason in 2004.

“Everybody who knew him had fun with him,” Dodgers’ reliever Jeff Weaver said. Weaver was a teammate of Lima’s in 2004 and in 2002 with the Detroit Tigers. “He was the life of the clubhouse and kept everyone entertained and having fun. People who knew him are going to miss him.

And on that October day in Game 3 of the National League Divisional Series against the St. Louis Cardinals with the Dodgers trailing two games to none, Lima was out there facing off against Matt Morris. Against a hard hitting Cardinals team that had crushed the Dodgers 8-3 in each of the first two games in St. Louis, all Lima did was pitch a complete game five-hit shutout for the Dodgers 4-0 victory.

Although the Dodgers lost 6-2 the next day giving the Cardinals the series win, Lima went down in Dodger history as the pitcher who gave the team their first playoff victory since 1988.

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“He went out there, won a ballgame for us and did everything he could to help the team win,” Weaver recalled.