Padres' young arms take in rowdy road crowds

Padres' young arms take in rowdy road crowds

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."