Jose Lima gave one of the best performances of the Series, in what was the best games of the entire week. And it didn’t even matter that he lost.
After pitching eight brilliant innings, Lima allowed a double and then a walk before being pulled in favor of Arnaldo Munoz, who gave up the game-winning single to Javier Valentin as Puerto Rico salvaged a victory to finish a game behind the Dominican Republic. But the game didn’t really matter, as the Dominican Republic had wrapped up the Caribbean Series title the night before when Puerto Rico lost to Venezuela.
Lima was so juiced in the on-field celebrations for what his team had accomplished–in winning the 2007 Caribbean Series–that he was jumping back and forth, doing a brief interview here, hugging someone else there before finally grabbing third base coach Tim Lieper to ask, “Hey, man where’s my glove? I think somebody stole my (expletive deleted).”
Police in riot gear lined up along each outfield line, while security blocked off the infield to prevent the Dominican fans from storming the field. Since the fans couldn’t come to the players, the players went to the fans, as series MVP Tony Batista took the trophy from catcher Alberto Castillo and ran down the right field line in celebration.
This was for the Dominican fans more than anything else. And Lima had them borderlining pure frenzy all night long.
“We know who the best team is,” Lima said. “I’m not going to let anyone beat me down. I said I’d save my big show for this game–that was my goal.
“I could have stayed in the game. I could have pitched however more innings it took to win. But the bottom line is Dominicana is the champion, so my goal is complete.”