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10/28/06 1:09 AM ET

Jeff Weaver postgame interview

Game 5 winner thanks the Cardinals for believing in him

The beginning of July, could you have ever imagined holding that champagne right now?

JEFF WEAVER: Well, I was hoping to do it in Anaheim but that didn't work, so I got to thank Walt Jocketty for bringing me over here, and Dave Duncan and Tony La Russa from being on my side from the get-go and really believing in me and liking the way I compete. When you have all that support you can go out there and not be looking over your shoulder and figure some things out and I was just very fortunate to get hot when it counted. It's a dream come true. It's unbelievable.

Congratulations. That moment in the game after Duncan struggled with that ball with the double, getting the strike out on Rodriguez, can you take us through that at-bat, how pivotal that moment was to what you did tonight?

JEFF WEAVER: Well, you know, you've got to go out there and control things you can control. And even the play before that fell in, I still threw the pitch to Casey where I wanted it. He's looking in and put a good swing on it, but it's the fact of just staying calm, believing that you're going to get out of the situation and execute the pitches when the time comes. And I'm just very fortunate to be able to execute when needed.

Anybody whose ever been passed over, let go from their job, fired, not taken seriously, sort of knows the feeling of what it's like to be in the position to stand there and say, see, I told you so. Is that sort of where your head is right now or is it someplace else?

JEFF WEAVER: No, it's just focused on the winning. All that's fine and dandy, but it's all the belief in yourself, knowing that you're going to work through it. I've had struggles before and found it again. When you come to a team that believes in you from the get-go, it just builds your confidence. And you know what they say, just never say die, just keep working. It's hard to put into words, but I'm just very fortunate to be able to go out there and compete on that stage and have the opportunity and take advantage of it.

I'm curious, this has been such an unbelievable year for the team, the September swoon, the losingest team ever to win a World Series, your ups and downs. What is it about this team that you're able to put it together in October and be the last team standing?

JEFF WEAVER: I think a lot of it had to do with the end of the season. We struggled a bit. But when it came to it and our backs were against the wall, we made it happen. We won ballgames we needed to to get in. Once the season's over you start fresh. It's all about who's the hottest, who believes in each other and who goes out there and plays the hardest. And I think that struggle towards the end just refreshed us once it was all done and we were able to take a deep breath and go out there and play for the second season.

You said that the city really embraced you from when you got there, when they saw you at the Outback eating alone. And I'm just wondering what it means to get the win here for this city.

JEFF WEAVER: It's huge. I don't think there's a guy in here that wanted to go back to Detroit. We wanted to do it here. We had the opportunity and the position to do so and just very lucky to make it happen here. The fans were up on their feet from the get-go, just like good fans should, and we gave them something to cheer for. And the Midwest is all about their sports teams and you forget that when you go to the bigger cities and things of that nature. But they all were gracious to have me over here. When you hear it from the fans, it just gives you that adrenaline rush to get you through things.

I know it's right afterwards, but you obviously have become a very important member of the Cardinals this year. When it comes to your future, you've raised your stock a lot. Do you see yourself here for a long time? Is this where you want to be next year and for the years ahead?

JEFF WEAVER: Why wouldn't you? If you have the opportunity to have the chance to do this each and every year, which they've done over the past years, this is what we play for, is to have the chance to win and we'll just have to wait to see what happens.

How big was that play that you and Albert put together?

JEFF WEAVER: Well, I mean, Albert is an exceptional fielder. He made a great play. I just wanted to concentrate and make sure I put a glove on it and could have very easily started a rally. Anytime you make big plays it changes the momentum of the game, and I think that was a big one.

Is it even more special to have pitched as well as you did and for the Cardinals to have beaten the Tigers considering you played for Detroit? And I know most of those players and people are no longer with the organization, but you did once wear the Tigers' uniform.

JEFF WEAVER: Well, it's funny how things work. You couldn't ask for a better scenario. Just kind of full circle. You don't expect things like that to happen, but when you have the opportunity to go out there and have a chance to win, give your team a chance to win, especially against a team that you used to play for, I mean it's just added motivation.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.