4/13/2014 3:13 P.M. ET
With limited playing time, Jay hoping to stay hot
By Joe Harris / Special to MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- Jon Jay hopes he can build on Saturday's performance in the Cardinals' 10-4 win over the Cubs.
Jay, whose playing time has been cut so far in 2014 with the arrival of Peter Bourjos, was 1-for-4 at the plate, but his two-run single with the bases loaded in the fourth helped break the game open. Jay is now a .345 career hitter with the bases loaded.
His day could have been even better, but Jay was robbed of a single thanks to a strong play by Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro. Jay was originally called safe at first, but the call was reversed after the Cubs challenged it.
Jay said he's just focused on being ready, even with the changing playing time.
"I think I've always shown up in shape and I've always had a strong work ethic, but every year I think you learn a little bit more," Jay said. "I'm comfortable with where I'm at right now and just trying to build on it."
Jay also made an impact defensively, hauling in a Luis Valbuena line drive in the third that seemed destined for the left-center field gap.
"I take a lot of pride in all facets of the game because you never know what facet of the game is going to be that impact play," Jay said. "Baserunning, defense even if it is giving a tip to someone else on the team, I take pride in it."
Manager Mike Matheny likes how Jay has prepared this season.
"We continue to talk to him and tell him not to over think anything except for the fact to take advantage of the opportunities that you get and you never know how this stuff plays out," Matheny said. "We're trying to really stay away from the emphasis of whatever role everybody sees. We don't know how that role plays out. His role yesterday was our starting center fielder and today it's going to be a guy coming off the bench. Just take your daily role and do the most that you can without getting too distracted by the stuff you can't control like how often you are going to be in that particular spot."
Robinson's legacy important to Cardinals
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day in Milwaukee on Tuesday. The significance of the day is not lost on the team's players.
"I think Jackie Robinson Day is a real special day for all of baseball," center fielder Jon Jay said. "He broke the color barrier, for Latin players, for all sorts of different players. As a Latin player I think it's something that's big where he really paved the way for us and we owe a lot to him. If it wasn't for him a lot of us wouldn't be playing in the Major Leagues right now."
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has experienced Jackie Robinson Day as a player and as a manager.
"I think the league does a great job of stopping and slowing down and really pointing out the importance of what Jackie Robinson did," Matheny said. "And I think it's great for our game. I think it's great for our country just to acknowledge the heroes and what he did was heroic. I think some of the movies and books and things that have been written have all done a real nice job of talking about the courage it took to stand up and to be a pioneer in this game, and it's definitely been for the good of our game and for our country too."
Rookie second baseman Kolten Wong can't wait to put on that legendary number.
"You always watch on TV all the guys wearing 42," Wong said. "You always want to be able to do that one day and I'm excited to be able to do that."
Wacha sends bobblehead package home to family
ST. LOUIS -- Michael Wacha is sending a special package back home with his parents who are visiting him this weekend, a box full of Wacha bobbleheads.
The Cardinals gave out the bobbleheads featuring Wacha holding his 2013 NLCS MVP trophy Friday night. The rookie hurler was able to take home about 10 for friends and family.
"It's definitely been a pretty crazy experience, seeing myself on a bobblehead," Wacha said. "It's been a crazy past year that's for sure, but its definitely cool to see."
Wacha will leave distribution of the bobbleheads to his parents.
He hasn't gotten any jokes about the giveaway from teammates, yet. But he added there is no statute of limitations for that.
Wacha got his first taste of the Cardinals/Cubs rivalry when he took the mound on Sunday.
"Just approach it the same," Wacha said. "Try not to let the rivalry get in there, just try to approach it like any other start really."
Periods of rain were in the forecast, but manager Mike Matheny said Wacha has been good at keeping his focus, whether its bobbleheads, weather, or pitching in high-leverage postseason situations.
"Out there, there's a whole lot of this, that," Matheny said. The bobbleheads are great for the fans and then there's distraction about the rain delays, but I think inside the clubhouse we have a pretty consistent atmosphere where guys just come in and do their job. Michael's done a good job of keeping the stuff outside, outside."
• Jhonny Peralta returned to the lineup after receiving the day off yesterday and hit in the No. 7 spot. Peralta is in the midst of a 2-for-32 slump to start the season and admitted that the move from the American League to the National League has been an adjustment.
"I need to see more pitching," Peralta said. "It's a little different. I don't know the pitcher or what the pitcher has. I don't want to use it as an excuse, but it's a little different than what I've seen in the American League."
• The Cardinals confirmed that Mark Ellis (patella tendinitis) is starting a rehab assignment today in Triple-A Memphis. Matheny said there is a chance Ellis could join the team in Milwaukee.
• Triple A-Memphis was blanked by Iowa in a 5-0 loss Saturday night. Stephen Piscotty went 3-for-4.
Joe Harris is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.