Rapid Reaction: Mets 3, Yankees 1

WHAT IT MEANS: The Yankees have been swept by the Mets for the first time in Subway Series history, losing all four games of the home-and-home series. The Yankees have now lost five straight overall and limp into their battle for first against the Red Sox this weekend. The depleted Yankees lineup cannot score runs. They scored a total of seven in the four-game sweep.

MISSED OPPS: In each of the first two innings, the Yankees put two men on with no outs. Both times they failed to score. In the first, Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner struck out before Lyle Overbay grounded out. In the second, Reid Brignac struck out before Austin Romine hit into a double play.

DON'T YA KNOW? In the third, Robinson Cano cut the Mets' lead in half with a solo shot. Cano had gone eight games, spanning 31 at-bats, without an extra-base hit. Dillon Gee just took over after Cano's shot, retiring the next 15 straight.

The only one who could stop Gee was Terry Collins, who took him out in the eighth so Scott Rice could face Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro came into the at-bat hitting 184 points higher against lefties (.377) than righties. The strange managerial move didn't matter as Ichiro popped out.

BYRD ATTACK: The Mets got on top early for the second consecutive night. Marlon Byrd nailed a two-run shot off Vidal Nuno in the second.

VIDAL: Nuno impressed again. He gave up the two-run homer to Byrd, but that was it in his six innings of three-hit, two-run ball. His ERA is 2.25 over 20 big league innings. Nuno is pitching himself into fifth-starter consideration for this season and as a potential important cog in Hal Steinbrenner's $189 million plan.

Joe Girardi committed to David Phelps staying in the rotation, so Nuno might be ticketed for Triple-A with Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis due back Friday. If so, it will just be so he can keep stretched out; when the Yankees need another starter. he will be the man.

THAT'S KELLEY WITH A K: Shawn Kelley was at it again, striking out the side in the seventh. In the eighth, he walked a batter and got a groundout. Kelley has struck out 18 of his last 30 batters. Overall, he has 36 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings.

SHUSH: Joba Chamberlain pitched for the first time in two weeks. Entering with men on first and second, Chamberlain threw a wild pitch and then gave up a slow infield hit to John Buck that David Adams hoped would go foul. It didn't and a run was charged to Kelley. Chamberlain struck out Lucas Duda to end the inning.

It was also the first time Chamberlain returned since he shushed Mariano Rivera.

ATTENDANCE: The announced crowd was 44,207. There were a lot of empties at the beginning of the game. It did seem to fill up as the night went on, but the Subway Series is still not as hot a ticket as it once was.

The Yankees wished it had never taken place this season.