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Playoff 'pressure is on us'
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10/05/2004 6:51 PM ET
Playoff 'pressure is on us'
Lima, Dodgers not discouraged by Game 1 results
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Jose Lima sits in front of his locker during Monday's workouts in St. Louis. (Jon SooHoo/Dodgers)
Jose Lima, the Dodgers' candidate for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, which honors service to the community and actions on the field, won 21 games for the Astros in 1999, but came to Spring Training this season as a non-roster invitee and battled his way onto the team. An inspirational leader, both on and off the field, Lima was 13-5 with a 4.07 ERA in 36 games for the Dodgers, who went 17-7 in games he started. His .722 winning percentage was third-best in the National League. The 2004 NLDS will be Lima's third; he pitched for Houston in the 1997 and 1999 playoffs. It's Lima Time!

Playing in the postseason, this is what it's all about. This is why you keep coming back. This is what you play for.

Even though the day didn't end the way we wanted, it's great when they call your name when you take the field. It's awesome. It's a great experience.

Actually, you get a completely different feeling in the postseason. There's a different mentality, it's a different ballgame. It's just the way it is. There's a sold-out crowd and the cheering, the ovation, everything. It's pretty special.

You know, the first game you always want to win it. You want to put pressure on them. But the pressure's now on us. We gotta come back Thursday and we gotta win. And then we'd go home tied 1-1 and I pitch Saturday and I'll take care of business. When you bite first it's always tough to come back. Still, there's a lot of ballgames left.

Odalis, what can I say? It just wasn't his day today. He didn't look like himself. It happens. Nobody in here is pointing fingers. We're all in this together. We're all a team.

I'm glad tomorrow is a day off and the next game is a night game Thursday night. Today we got up too early in the morning. I felt like this was almost a Spring Training game; we had to get here at 8:30 in the morning and people were half asleep.

At least we have tomorrow and guys can think about it a little bit and come back Thursday night and take care of business.

So I say to the fans, don't give up. Don't panic, we'll be all right. We did it all year, don't give up on us now.

Jose Lima's diary appears as told to MLB.com reporter Ken Gurnick. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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