Jumping up and down in a close knot of teammates during San Diego's celebration of the NL West championship, Jake Peavy felt a sharp twinge in his rib cage.
The Padres' ace tried to pitch in yesterday's Game 1 of the NL Division Series anyway, an 8-5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, and now he will miss the rest of the postseason with a broken rib.
An MRI at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis revealed a fractured eighth rib, and doctors were still trying to determine whether the ninth rib was fractured, too.
''The next day, I just thought I had some bruised ribs, caught an elbow or something," Peavy said. ''I never would have imagined it would have been this."
Peavy figured to be the Padres' best hope of upsetting the Cardinals. He led the NL in strikeouts, ranked among the league leaders in ERA, and easily was the ace of a team that finished only 82-80.
None of that helped in his first career postseason game. Peavy gave up eight runs, all earned, in 4 1/3 innings as the Cardinals built an 8-0 lead.
Peavy felt pain in the third inning when his spike got caught on the rubber on a bases-loaded wild pitch that didn't even make it to the dirt in front of home plate. The pain worsened the rest of the way.
''It's been a little bothersome, but nothing we thought would get in the way of me," Peavy said. ''Trying to turn it up, there were some issues."
Padres players weren't aware Peavy was hurt until learning from a reporter after the game.
With Peavy out, the rotation for the rest of the series is in limbo. Adam Eaton would likely pitch Game 4, if necessary, and Brian Lawrence would be the likely choice for Game 5, Padres spokesman Luis Garcia said.