Things Jake Peavy won’t have to deal with when the Red Sox open the playoffs this weekend: Albert Pujols the St. Louis Cardinals broken ribs.

All three proved vexing in Peavy’s only other brushes with the postseason in 2005 and 2006. The result is an unsightly playoff ERA of 12.10 that’s hardly befitting a player of Peavy’s prestige.
“I can promise you this — it’s nothing I lose any sleep over or think about” Peavy said. “Do I wish those games had gone differently? Of course I do. It’s going to be hard to get the ERA to look good when you have just two starts and one of them was as short and painful as the one in ’05.”

In 2005 Peavy was one of the best pitchers in baseball having just completed his first All-Star season. One year earlier he had led the National League in ERA; two years later he would win the Cy Young Award.

The right-hander got a little overexuberant celebrating the San Diego Padres’ 2005 NL West title however and broke a rib while leaping on the pile. He tried to pitch through it in Game 1 of the NL Division Series against the Cardinals but by the end of his start he could barely breathe. Reggie Sanders hit the last pitch he threw for a grand slam and Peavy ended up in the hospital before the game even finished after allowing a career-high eight runs on eight hits in 41⁄3 innings.

“It really really hurt to throw a baseball” Peavy said.
A year later the Cardinals got him again in the NLDS. Peavy made that start with a sore shoulder but managed to keep St. Louis off the board until the fourth when Chris Duncan led off with a single and Pujols followed by popping one up behind home plate. Padres catcher Mike Piazza couldn’t corral the foul pop-up and given another life Pujols launched what turned out to be the game-winning two-run homer. Peavy’s final line: 51⁄3 innings 11 hits five runs.