Collins gives Bay the day off

Mets left fielder Jason Bay will not play this afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals, manager Terry Collins said.

Bay was pulled from Wednesday night's game at Citi Field in the fourth inning after his right hamstring tightened up.

"I talked to Jason this morning," Collins said today. "He feels better. He does. But I'm gonna give him the day off. I don't think [his hamstring] is as tight as it was, but I don’t see how 12 hours later it's gonna feel that much better."

Collins expects that Bay will return over the weekend when the Mets begin a three-game series against the Florida Marlins in Miami.

Bay, 32, said after Wednesday night's game that he initially tweaked his hamstring Saturday afternoon when he tripped over the foot of the Philadelphia Phillies' Ryan Howard while crossing first base.

"I looked down and his foot was the entire width of the base," Bay said.

As for the how the hamstring has felt since that contact, Bay added: "It hasn't been bad. It's just been there, and it’s something I've kind of been fighting. Terry was aware of it yesterday. And then today I kind of felt that it was OK if I was jogging. I hit that ground ball to short. My first couple of steps I could feel it. And then I kind of slowed down a little bit. It was something that was preventing me from really going.

"And then there was a ball down the line [in left field]. My first couple of steps, again, your first instinct is to go real quick. I feel it immediately -- not bad, but enough that I'm a little concerned if I keep going at that pace, something bad might happen. So I kind of backed off."

Collins said that the extreme heat was one of the reasons he decided to pull Bay out of the game on Wednesday night.

"He told me he could play at 80 percent [Wednesday night], and due to the factor of dehydration, I do know that's a contributing factor to pulled muscles," Collins said.

Bay, who is hitting just .232 with six home runs and 29 RBIs, has just four hits in his last 37 at-bats (.108).