SAN FRANCISCO -- Though it is the Giants who are headed to the postseason and not the Padres, the younger San Diego pitchers got a glimpse of a postseason atmosphere when they pitched in front of an electric AT&T Park crowd that watched the Giants clinch the National League West title Saturday.
"It's big for our guys to get a taste of that," Dale Thayer said. "To pitch in front of a crowd like that when you're young, just to be able to focus in that pressure, it'll make it easier later on to have that experience now."
Thayer, who pitched a perfect seventh inning Saturday, said younger pitchers were given notice that San Francisco fans are among the rowdiest in baseball, especially to the visiting bullpen.
Pitching coach Darren Balsley also had a message for his younger pitchers: Don't just learn from it -- enjoy it.
"Before we headed to L.A. and here, he told us to just make sure to enjoy the experience while we're here," Nick Vincent said. "To come here and play in front of these rowdy fans, I thrive off of that. I took in the moment, and I was making sure to take it one pitch at a time. These are some great fan bases, and we're just making sure to enjoy it."
Grandal returns after Padres play it safe
SAN FRANCISCO -- Yasmani Grandal was back in the lineup and behind the plate Sunday after being a late scratch in Saturday's game, though he did make a pinch-hit appearance in the ninth inning.
Grandal took a foul tip to the mask in Friday's game and was scratched from the lineup after concussion test results weren't as reassuring as the Padres had hoped they would be.
"They basically just compare it to the ones you have taken in the past, and mine didn't come back as well as we would have liked," Grandal said. "I could have played, but the only thing they were worried about was how I would respond if I got another foul ball to the mask. We obviously didn't want to risk it."
Grandal had insisted before Saturday's game that he was ready to play and that he didn't feel he needed to be taken out of Friday's game, but said he understood the Padres' desire to side with caution.
"I totally feel safe with this team and how they take care of the players," Grandal said. "It's one of those things where you just have to take it as it comes."
Jay Lee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.