Friday, the Cubs did both.
Prior was hit in the fourth inning and went immediately to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where X-rays were negative. But an MRI revealed a hairline fracture, team sources said late Friday, and Prior will go on the disabled list.
The Cubs went on to pound out 11 hits, including four home runs, and produce their first double-digit scoring since April 25 against Cincinnati.
Coincidence or not, the offensive onslaught in front of 38,771 Wrigley Field fans followed a closed-door team meeting before the game at which the topic of getting better at-bats was the main subject.
"We just talked about a few things, theoretical things," manager Dusty Baker said. "It never hurts to talk about things, try to get your head straight."
Something clicked, because the Cubs drew three walks in the first inning, though they didn't score.
In the end, the heroes were Neifi Perez with a homer and four RBIs, Derrek Lee with two homers and three RBIs and even Aramis Ramirez, who raised his average to .233 with two singles and a walk.
"It was nice to have a breather," Lee said.
The day wasn't always that nice, with the sight of Prior lying on the ground shocking his teammates.
"You have to [go on]," Lee said. "You have a job to do. You have to finish the game."
Todd Wellemeyer (1-0) pitched 3 2/3 innings of hitless ball after Prior's departure. In fact, he didn't allow one ball out of the infield, although he walked three batters.
"He did a great job," Baker said.
But when asked who would take Prior's place for at least his next start, Baker said, "I don't know yet."
During his short stay Prior wasn't as sharp as usual, yielding one run on three walks and a single in the second inning. By the time he was gone, the Cubs had tied the game on Jerry Hairston's third-inning double and a Ramirez single.
And then Prior went down.
"Everybody just kind of stepped it up after that," Wellemeyer said.
Indeed, the shock of seeing Prior in such obvious pain seemed to awaken Cubs hitters, as they pounded Joe Kennedy (3-5) for four runs in the fourth inning with two outs. Three of them were unearned, but the Cubs also had five hits in the inning, four of them in a row.
Perez picked up his first two RBIs with a double, then scored on Lee's single. Lee scored on Jason Dubois' single.
After LaTroy Hawkins pitched a shaky but scoreless ninth inning, thoughts turned again to Prior.
"Hopefully he'll be fine," catcher Henry Blanco said.