The champagne flowed just as easily and tasted just as sweet 24 hours later, meshing quite nicely with the celebratory sigh of relief in the Detroit Tigers' clubhouse.

But the guest of honor was missing.

A little late, but Justin Verlander finally joined the party.

"YEAHHHHHH!!!!! GIMME A BOTTLE!!!!"

The hero of the night ran into the middle of a pack, his teammates chanting "Cy

Young! Cy Young! Cy Young!" as they repeatedly sprayed him in the face.

Those were the only significant hits off Verlander all night.

"He was so hot tonight that I don't even think a shower would cool him off," said a happily relieved Alex Avila. "He was never better, especially when you consider what was at stake for us. It was either win Game 5 or go home."

The Tigers won their second straight division series the only way this particular team could — clearing an obstacle thought insurmountable.