10/05/05 7:53 PM ET
Ribgate a non-issue -- for the moment
Even if he's cleared, Peavy shouldn't pitch again this year
But you can't stop the boys from having a little fun out there. Maybe the stage dive isn't a great idea, but let's not put up a fence between the dugout and the mound for clinchers, for crying out loud.You can also play the blame game. Should Peavy have said more? Perhaps -- but the injury might have gone from bruise to break when he tripped in the third-inning wild pitch. Should the training staff and pitching coach Darren Balsley been more cautious knowing what they knew? Perhaps -- but that's easy to say now, and they're certainly not out to see Peavy get hurt. From the sound of it, Bochy should have known more going into the game, just so he'd know. But if there wasn't a cracked rib going into Tuesday's game, as the Padres' medical staff seems to believe, then it's unlikely Bochy would have gone with somebody else for Game 1 anyway. In fact, even for those with trained eyes who have seen practically every pitch Peavy threw this season, there wasn't much early in Tuesday's Game 1 loss to the Cardinals that tipped off that Peavy had a problem at all. "I thought he looked great," Padres general manager Kevin Towers said. "I told a couple of advance scouts I was sitting next to, 'He's got his 'A' game today.'" In the end, those weren't Peavy's "A" results. By the time he gave up Reggie Sanders' grand slam, it was evident that Peavy didn't have that extra gear to push his fastballs from the low-90 mph range to the mid-90s. He wasn't himself, and the MRI showed why. Still, as Ribgate Day 2 progressed, the "don't count out Jake" mantra kept creeping in. He might be ready for Game 5, it was said. That has a very simple response: Don't do it. It's not worth it. The biggest reason isn't that Peavy's ribs might hurt him and he wouldn't be able to handle the pain. That's not the point. It's that his painful rib cage might make him alter his mechanics, which in turn could cause a shoulder or elbow injury -- and that, folks, would be a true travesty. So, in a way, Ribgate is a moot point going forward, at least until the Padres make a series out of this thing. For now, their ace is relegated to the dugout. "I'll just be rooting on the boys as a cheerleader," Peavy said. Eh, Jake, please lay off the pyramid cheer this time, though. We don't need Ribgate Part II.
John Schlegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.