Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Ten years ago, a much-needed Lima Time

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By Jon Weisman

Lima Time.

It was the perfect antidote to sadness, the perfect break — however temporary — from gloom.

Thursday is the 10th anniversary of Jose Lima’s shutout of the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 3 of the 2004 National League Division Series — the first Dodger playoff victory in 16 years — but today seems like the right day to remember it.

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

From Dodger Thoughts, October 9, 2004:

… Lima cruised through the seventh and was one strike away from a perfect eighth before Womack singled. Lima suddenly looked a little wobbly – a couple of pitches went in the dirt. Eric Gagne was warm in the bullpen. With Larry Walker up and Albert Pujols on deck, this figured to be the end.

Instead, Lima retired Walker. Eight innings in the books.

And indeed, that seemed enough. You didn’t want to see Lima’s outstanding outing marred by a collapse – and you had a rested Gagne ready. But then again, with a four-run lead, wasn’t it worth a shot to see if Lima could ride this horse all the way back to the stables? The Dodgers certainly planned to remove him if one batter reached base in the ninth.

Facing the three All-Stars, Pujols, Rolen and Jim Edmonds, Lima retired them in order on 10 pitches – 10 pitches! – Beltre flairing a basket catch of a popup to end it.

Lima kneeled down and genuflected. As did we all.

What an incredible night in Los Angeles baseball history.

Jose Lima died, much, much too soon, on May 23, 2010.

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  1. I don’t remember which game it was, but once Jose sang the National Anthem and was called in to pitch.

    I also remember that he used to sit on top of the dugout in Aisle 31 and sign autographs.

    Vin was right – we lost him far too soon.

  2. RIP Jose Lima and “Lima Time”.. Still love and miss that energy!!

  3. oldbrooklynfan

    What a difference between then and now. Back then to win in the postseason was a surprise, now it’s the exact opposite.

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