"He had a couple of opportunities with getting a bunt down. Jon can do that," manager Mike Matheny said. "We know that with Yadier on base, you're going to have to get a good bunt down, and Jon can do that. He does those things, the small things, the little things every day so well -- the things that go unnoticed. I know he takes a lot of pride in the littler things that don't go noticed. That is part of being the quarterback in the outfield.
"But these guys hold themselves to high expectations. ... We've talked about that as a group. How much our team celebrates the grinding at-bats and doing the little things right. A guy gets a bunt down, you'd have thought he hit a home run when he hits the dugout, because the guys know that that's a big deal. It kind of preserves that selfless attitude that we think contributes to winning baseball."
Jay, a left-handed hitter, got the starting nod Saturday over reserve outfielder Shane Robinson, whose right-handed bat could have been employed against the Dodgers' left-handed ace. Though Jay is hitting just .143 (3-for-21) this postseason, Matheny reaffirmed his confidence that his center fielder can bounce back.
"When that happened, Jon didn't get [the bunt] down in a big situation late in the game, he's frustrated," Matheny said. "Then right behind that, [he] doesn't get back on the ball to right. These guys are hard on themselves, harder on themselves than our staff is, for sure. But we do know that's what pushes them for the next level and turns very good players into great players."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.