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Repeat celebration equally sweet for Phils

Repeat celebration equally sweet for Phils

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PHILADELPHIA -- Brad Lidge pointed one finger to the sky, tracking the fly ball that would end the National League Championship Series.

Then he put two arms up, and as Shane Victorino caught the final out of the Phillies' 10-4 victory over the Dodgers on Wednesday, it was time for what's a now annual iconic moment: Lidge turned around and embraced catcher Carlos Ruiz.

Fireworks shot up around Citizens Bank Park and the Phanatic ran out with a "2009" banner, representing the Phillies' second straight NL title.

But leave it to Pedro Martinez to truly get the party started.

The affable veteran brought out the first bottle of champagne as the Phillies awaited the Warren Giles Trophy presentation. Champagne soon found its way onto Jayson Werth's head and into his wide-open mouth, giving the Game 5 hero the first taste of pennant glory.

"This is great and all that," said Werth, who homered twice in Wednesday's clincher, "but we have four games to win."

First, they have one week off, plenty of time for another hard-earned celebration.

So as soon as the on-field ceremonies ended, it was an all-out sprint for the home clubhouse, where crates of champagne and coolers of beer awaited. (Chan Ho Park took a detour, climbing on top of the Phils' dugout to let fans in on the spraying action.)

Werth, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins opted for swim goggles. Others went bare-faced, though as Brett Myers remarked, "Not good up your nose."

But that didn't stop the Phillies from dousing one another as much as possible around the plastic-covered clubhouse, while the boom box next to Rollins' stall blasted the club's typical victory mix.

"Time to get me somebody," Rollins said eagerly after completing an interview. Chants of "in the face, in the face" resounded from the room's center table, where the bottles rested and, therefore, the players congregated.

Phillies' follow-ups
With Wednesday's win, the Phillies repeated as National League champions for the first time in club history. Here's what the Phillies have done in the year following a World Series trip:
Year WS outcome Next Year Outcome
2008 Beat TB 2009 Advanced to WS
1993 Lost to TOR 1994 Fourth in NL East
1983 Lost to BAL 1984 Fourth in NL East
1980 Beat KC 1981 Lost special Division Series to MON
1950 Lost to NYY 1951 Fifth in NL
1915 Lost to BOS 1916 Second in NL

Lidge tried to answer questions about his postseason turnaround; he tossed a perfect ninth Wednesday and has thrown four scoreless innings during the playoffs.

But he was being squirted from all sides.

"It's unbelievable," was all he could say before turning around to seek cover.

One group removed Martinez's NL champions hat to douse the 37-year-old midseason signing, who already has a 2004 World Series ring from his Red Sox days.

Others in the clubhouse were concerned with this approach.

"Don't mess up Pedro's hair," someone shouted.

Martinez, though, wanted to ensure that this celebration was special. After all, he has said that he chose the Phillies because they could give him moments like this. He only got into one playoff game, but he made the most of it, throwing seven shutout innings against the Dodgers in Game 2.

"They're very young and very thirsty," Martinez said of his teammates. "That's why I'm spraying them with all kinds of drinks and stuff.

"I enjoy every single moment of it."

The party spilled back onto the field, with the relievers carrying beverages out to the bullpen, Werth and others whipping out cigars and players' kids running around the outfield grass.

NL Championship Series
Gm. 1 PHI 8, LAD 6 Wrap Video
Gm. 2 LAD 2, PHI 1 Wrap Video
Gm. 3 PHI 11, LAD 0 Wrap Video
Gm. 4 PHI 5, LAD 4 Wrap Video
Gm. 5 PHI 10, LAD 4 Wrap Video

At around 12:40 a.m. ET -- roughly an hour after last out -- Harry Kalas' rendition of "High Hopes" graced the loyal fans who stuck around for the fun. They had spent all week chanting "Beat L.A." and added a "Hit the showers" jeer of Manny Ramirez as Wednesday's game became out of reach, so there was no reason to go home.

The Phillies, after all, had become the first NL team to win back-to-back pennants since the 1995-96 Braves, and next week, they'll try to become the first to win consecutive World Series since the Cincinnati Reds of 1975-76.

"It hasn't really hit me all the way yet," said Howard, the NLCS Most Valuable Player. "It's definitely something special, first off. To do it with this group of guys makes it that much more fun."

David Gurian-Peck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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