Lima says he went into that game, against the potent Colorado Rockies, assuming it might be the last start of his career. He allowed one run and four hits in seven innings. By the middle of May he was 6-1. When he struggled at midseason, he and Ruhle phased in the slider and the sinker, which became reliable out pitches for Lima. He wound up 16-8 with a 3.70 ERA.
You can't overstate the glee with which Lima celebrates the song of himself, nor can you blame him. He's pitching like an All-Star, earning $1.95 million—plenty to support his family back home—and is set to cash in as a free agent this winter. His CD will be in record stores any day now. Most of all, last July 4 was dependence day for Lima: Jose Jr. was born.
"I was afraid he would not be a responsible father," says Melissa. "I mean, here's a guy I always catch in front of the mirror dancing around in his underwear. But he takes great care of Jose Jr." And, Melissa adds, "he sings to him every day."
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