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Jose Lima Game 3 quotes
10/10/2004 12:15 AM ET
Q. You had said you would do anything you could do to give this team a 'W' tonight. Did you have any idea you would have the performance you had tonight?

JOSE LIMA: Well, you know, I talked to you yesterday. I told you, "I'm bringing my A game tomorrow." I was going to bring everything I have in my heart for this ballclub and to the fans.

I mean, I did my homework. I watched the video when I got home. The way I pitched against them over there in St. Louis when I lost 3 0. I said, "Don't change anything. Throw strikes. Make them hit the ball on the ground, try to keep Rolen and Pujols away from the bases." That's what I did all night long.

Q. What do you have to do as a team from this point on to win the series?

JOSE LIMA: Well, just come back tomorrow and do the same thing. I think all year long, we played some great games, coming from behind, 53 times. I think we can do it tomorrow. We're going to have the home crowd. They're going to be there cheering for us. You know, I mean, I hope tomorrow Odalis can bring his A game, too, and perform well. I think we need it now the most.

I think if he wants to pitch a great game, it will have to be tomorrow, and see if we can tie the series and push again to Monday to go to St. Louis.

Q. You said this was the most important game you were going to pitch. Do you think this was the best game you ever pitched?

JOSE LIMA: Yeah, this is the first one I've got a second best. But I think this is the best one because coming from 2 0, then keeping my team alive, this is great. I know I was going to have a great game, but not a nine inning shutout against the Cardinals. I told myself, "Go seven, and just give the ball to Gagné two innings, he can finish the game." In the meantime now, if we need Gagné tomorrow, he can go three innings now (laughter).

Q. Your demeanor in the first three innings was a little lower key than it usually is. Was there any point in the game when you knew you were going to dominate as you did?

JOSE LIMA: When I got out of the first inning... I've been giving up a lot of the first inning runs all year round. When I got out of the first inning, I say, "See, that was easy right there. You throw a strike." Second inning, the same thing. First guy got on base. I say, "Wait a minute. What's going on here?" I got out of the inning again.

I say, "Now just take one pitch at a time and one batter at a time." I keep telling myself everyday, every time, going to my glove, I say, "Get the first hitter, get the first hitter, get the first hitter out. You get the first hitter, you win this ballgame."

That's what I did. I tried to keep like the deeper the order, I try not to get in trouble because I don't want to then have to face Renteria or Sanders in scoring position. I say, "Just throw strike, let them make themself out." That's what I did all night long.

Q. You went down on one knee at the end of the game. Were you that overcome by emotions? What were your feelings?

JOSE LIMA: I don't know if I should cry or jump in the stands. I don't know. I mean, when I went down on my knee, I put my fist down and I say, I thank the Lord first, and then I say, "Thank you, grandma." Because I know she's watching me. I lost my grandma a couple months ago. I know she is watching me out there. I think she give me the strength tonight to come back and perform well. My son Jose Jr. was in school, but I know he watch me tonight. And thank my wife, she stick around me all this time in my ups and downs.

I think I got to appreciate that because they been around me when I need them the most. And tonight I think the Lord bless me with everything, and that's how I do my job.

Q. How important were Shawn Green's home runs giving you four runs instead of two?

JOSE LIMA: That's great. Four nothing is a different story. Especially if I get in trouble, they can bring Brazoban, then bring Gagné, they can finish them up.

In the meantime, this year when I get the lead, we win every ballgame. Only one time that I failed to do that, it was in Montreal, when I got 3 0 lead, I lost the game like six nothing, 6 3. Tonight I say, "Keep throwing the strike, bring the guys quick to the dugout, put some more runs." Today they were patient. Last two games over there in St. Louis, facing home plate, they were swinging at everything. Today we let Morris come around and play. That's why we got in four runs.

Q. What were you thinking when you were standing on first base after executing the bunt?

JOSE LIMA: Can I tell you? I say, "I'm the man." It feels great (laughter).

They say that the ball hit me. The ball never hit me. It never hit my bat either. I just got lucky. It's not easy go up there, a guy throwing 93, 94 miles per hour. It was a sinker down. I don't even know how I got the ball down because I got a broken thumb. I don't want to get up there and jam my thumb again. Just get it in the ground. If it work, work. If not, Izturis come out and do the job for me. But it work. I mean, the Lord was watching me. I think the Lord was watching me.

Q. What kind of effect did the crowd have on you tonight?

JOSE LIMA: Well, you know, I've been playing for 11 years in the majors. I pitch in some playoff game. Like tonight, even when they say pitcher No. 27, Jose Lima, I've never seen the bullpen vibration since I've been here, and today I thought it was going to come probably on top of me.

And then since the fifth inning on, they just calling my name, "Li-ma, Li-ma." Like I say, I don't if to cry or say, "Stop, stop." I mean, it was unbelievable. It was a lot of energy, and I think that's one of the reasons I pitch so well, because they follow me, they stay with me the whole nine innings. I'm glad I did my job.

Q. What did you kiss for good luck before the game?

JOSE LIMA: I kiss my wife (laughter). Don't get me in trouble now.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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