Tampa Bay slugger Carlos Pena left in the first inning of Monday's game against New York and a few hours later, he got the verdict that his season is over. He broke two fingers after taking a CC Sabathia fastball off his left hand.
"I knew when the ball hit me it was going to be bad," he told ESPN.com. "You don't take a 95 mph fastball on the finger and live to tell about it — or the finger live to tell about it."
Pena, who led the AL with 39 home runs, will return to Florida on Tuesday to meet with the Rays' medical staff, and they will determine whether or not he needs surgery.
"I was crushed," Pena said after learning his fate. "It felt like you had taken my heart, thrown it around and stepped on it. That hurt more than the hit by pitch itself. I was really very much looking forward to the next three weeks. I wanted to keep putting it out there, trying to do the best I could. Now I have to wait another year."
Last year, Pena was instrumental in leading Tampa Bay to its first division title, registering 31 home runs and 102 RBIs for the AL champion Rays. Even manager Joe Maddon seems resigned to the fact that his troops won't be making a second consecutive trip to the postseason.
"It's very discouraging," he told the Web site. "He was swinging the bat about as well as anyone I've seen this season."