Jason Bay knows the Mets have gotten out of the gate slowly following the All-Star break, and he is confident he can help the team soon.

Asked if he was ready to play for the Mets when they open a three-game series at Washington tonight, the left fielder said: "Yeah, I don't see why not. If I feel like I have been — like I'm anticipating — yes. But I don't want to jump too far ahead."

Bay has learned the hard way there's no sense making predictions.

He played his third rehab game with Triple-A Buffalo last night, batting second and manning left field as he comes back from the June 15 concussion he suffered diving for a ball.