PHILADELPHIA -- As Cole Hamels fired the strikeout pitch past Scott Rolen for the 27th out that sent them on to the next step of their mission, the Phillies on the field collected in the middle and were joined by those from the visitors dugout of Great American Ball Park.There were handshakes, pats on the back -- but the been-there, done-that routine appeared to have all the zest and emotional jolt of a graduation ceremony at a dog-obedience school. The Phillies made an equally sedate retreat into their clubhouse. Then it was as if somewhere the "Celebrate" cue sign -- like the "Applause" sign to a TV audience -- went on and the players went into their drill. "Get yourself a bottle!" coach Sam Perlozzo, always in a teaching mode, instructed. Next door to the arena where families were enjoying Disney on Ice, the Phillies had put the Reds on ice and now took the bottles of champagne off ice.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.