For six innings, Chris Young and the Mets made chicken salad.
They concocted something far less appetizing in the seventh. As a result, the Mets enter tomorrow's Subway Series finale having lost the season series to their interborough rivals for the second year in a row.
"It's disappointing," Young said after the Mets' 4-3 loss to the Yankees at Citi Field Saturday night. The loss snaps the Mets' streak of consecutive series in which they swept or were swept at four.
Jon Rauch (3-7) was charged with the loss as he gave up Eric Chavez's game-winning homer, one batter after Raul Ibanez's three-run home run off of Young tied the game at 3-3.
"It's a bloop and a blast," Collins said. "They can get to you in a minute. There's not a guy in the lineup who can't hit the ball out of the ballpark."
"He hit a good pitch," Rauch said. "He took a panic swing and somehow barreled it. It stayed [fair] in the ballpark. I think everybody in this clubhouse was amazed he did that."
The Mets had opportunities to tie or take the lead in the final three innings, but were unable to take advantage against Yankees relievers Cody Eppley, David Robertson and Rafael Soriano. Soriano earned his 14th save of the season by getting Daniel Murphy to fly out to Nick Swisher with two out and David Wright on second.
"Nah," Collins said when asked if he thought Murphy's fly ball had a chance to carry out of the park. "You can tell by the sound."
What galled the Mets was that they wasted opportunities. The Mets had a 3-0 lead going into the seventh, in part due to Young having limited the Yankees to 2 hits in the first six innings with his low-80s assortment of pitches.
"Out of  pitches, one mistake and he got us," Josh Thole said. "He did an awesome job all night."
Offensively, the Mets generated three runs on five hits off of Yankees starter Ivan Nova in 5 2/3 innings. The Mets finished with seven hits.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis popped a leadoff homer over the left-field wall in the bottom of the third to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Thole's RBI groundout the next inning pushed the advantage to 2-0.
Young, who allowed three runs on four hits in six innings, added a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the sixth.
The Mets had the lead, but the Yankees' power worried Collins. It was a prescient feeling.
"We should have been in a little bit of a better situation than that," Collins said. "Three-zero against the Yankees isn't exactly monumental.
"I said before the game we have to add on runs against these guys," Collins said. "[One] of the things that saved us this far is out two-out hitting and we didn't have it tonight."
The Mets were shorthanded as first baseman Ike Davis (food poisoning) and closer Frank Francisco (left-side soreness) were unavailable. A Mets spokesperson said Francisco would be re-evaluated today.
R.A. Dickey will start the series finale tonight against C.C. Sabathia.
Clay Rapada improved to 2-0 for the Yankees.
Follow Mets beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.