PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Phillies completed an improbable run to their first NL East title since 1993, overcoming a seven-game deficit on Sept. 12 by winning 13 of their final 17 games, including Sunday's 6-1 victory over the Washington Nationals.
The Phillies also needed help up Interstate 95, and got it from the Florida Marlins, who beat the once-commanding Mets, 8-1, at New York to ensure there wouldn't be a tiebreaker playoff game today.
"We're going to celebrate right now and get ready for Wednesday," Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard said. "There's only one more celebration to try and go for now and that's the whole thing."
The Phillies spared their long-suffering fans more heartbreak and failure. In 2005, the Phillies were eliminated on the final day. Last year, they were knocked out on the next-to-last day of the season.
Guided by heavily criticized Manager Charlie Manuel, Philadelphia overcame a 4-11 start and numerous injuries to key players in rallying for 48 come-from-behind wins this season.
"No matter what the stakes are, we're never going to quit," center fielder Aaron Rowland said. "It's paid off for us."