10/06/2002 01:39 am ET
Vina: We were pumped up
By Fernando Vina / Special to MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals second baseman Fernando Vina, the team's regular leadoff man and a Gold Glove winner in 2001, will be chatting with MLB.com nearly every day for as long as St. Louis stays alive in the playoffs.
Vina took a few minutes out of the celebration in the Cardinals' champagne-soaked clubhouse on Saturday night to discuss his big series, sweeping the defending world champions and looking ahead to the National League Championship Series.
It was great to have a series like this, with nine hits in three games. You're just so excited to do what you can to help the team win obviously and I was so fired up and excited. I was just trying to do what I can.
Andy Benes picked us up tonight. He kept us in the game and that's all that we wanted. He's been so big for us ever since he came back. We're just so pumped up and fired up.
And then the bullpen, it's awesome. Rick White, Kliner (Steve Kline), Izzy (Jason Isringhausen), Crudie (Mike Crudale), Jeff Fassero, our whole bullpen is solid as can be. We've got a special club here and we're just fighting on. There's a lot of work to be done here and we just keep grinding.
Miguel Cairo's been big for us. He's a guy that came off the bench and has really played well. You're so happy for him because he deserves it and he works hard. He picked us up. What else can you say about him?
It's awesome to sweep Arizona. They're the world champs, and to beat them is special. They beat us last year and we owed them. They're a class act over there. Fortunately it went our way this year.
After the sweep, you get very excited because you know that you get some days off now and hopefully that will work to our advantage, helping Scotty Rolen get healthy because we really need him. He's part of our arsenal and he's such a great guy.
Now, these next couple of days, we'll just relax. We'll enjoy this for a few more days and keep preparing for the next round, whoever we're going to play, and we'll see what happens.
The fans in St. Louis are the best in the world, period. These fans are so special. Just the excitement that they brought tonight. We knew coming from Arizona after we won two in a row, that this would be so special here. We were pumped up, and like I said, these fans are the best in the world. They're second to none. And they make us feel so happy out there playing, because they're so behind us.
Fernando Vina's column appears as told to Matthew Leach, a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.