Padres’ pitcher Jake Peavy out with broken ribs

San Diego pitcher Jake Peavy came out of Tuesday’s loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the National League Division Series after 4 1/3 innings and complained of pain on his right side. He gave up eight runs and eight hits while also striking out three and walking three in his team’s 8-5 loss. Peavy is expected to miss at least a month, making it doubtful he will pitch again this postseason.

Padres medical staff, Peavy, manager Bruce Bochy and GM Kevin Towers all tried to pinpoint when, exactly, his rib was fractured, and reportedly met yesterday to determine if Peavy would be available to pitch again this post-season.

What happens when a rib is fractured?

Your ribs have two main jobs. One is to help protect your internal organs. The other is to stay stable while the muscles you use to breathe contract. This keeps your chest open so air can flow in.

When the ribs are injured, breathing can be very painful because the muscles used for breathing pull on the injured rib. When three or more neighboring ribs are fractured in more than one place on each rib, that section of your chest can’t hold its shape when you take a breath. This leaves less space in your chest for your lungs to inflate and air to flow in. It also causes the muscles to work less efficiently, so it’s harder to take a breath.

If it’s that hard to breathe, just imagine how hard it would be to pitch!

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