One of the things I was personally looking forward to in the opener was seeing Dominican righthander Jose Lima bring out that national passion against Venezuela. And he didnâ€™t disappoint, both in terms of results and his always colorful demeanor. Lima allowed a pair of runs on eight hits over five innings, but certainly added to the drama by seemingly constantly pitching out of jams, then jumping off the mound pumping his fist and pointing to the Dominican flag-waving crowd on his way back to the dugout. The ultimate showman, Lima made faces at the Venezuelan fans on the third base side–at one point sticking out his tongue in their direction just to make them taunt him even more. There just arenâ€™t enough Jose Limas in the world today . . . and though heâ€™s well past his prime, it was like his heart was running on that national pride–or a combination of caffeine and divine intervention: â€œYeah, man, itâ€™s just like this big motivation when I see so many guys, so many flags from my country,â€ Lima said. â€œI tried to settle down . . . yesterday, we got up at like seven in the morning to go to the airport to come here, then we didnâ€™t fly until like five oâ€™clock, so we spent like 10 hours in the airport. Then we got here and had to deal with all the luggage, going through customs and stuff like that. Then we came to the hotel and there were no rooms available and we had to wait another two hours. I knew I had to start today and I got to bed at like midnight. To prepare yourself for a series like this and deal with all these other things, itâ€™s tough. But at the same time, Iâ€™m a professional. I said, â€˜Jose, leave your show for the last game of the series–donâ€™t do it tonight because you donâ€™t have the energy.â€™ I was drinking Red Bull and coffee to try to stay awake today because it was so tough. But the manager believes in me, and the man upstairs, the Lord–he gave me all the inspiration, all the power to get through it and thatâ€™s what made me pitch so well.â€
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