Rafael Montero, fell behind early, couldn't hit Dinelson Lamet, because historically when have the Mets ever hit a guy making his Major League debut, and against a meek Padres team the Mets just proved themselves even meeker in a 4-3 loss.
You could point to Michael Conforto striking out 4 times, or Jay Bruce popping out with the winning runs on base, or Addison Reed giving up what would prove to be the winning run in the 9th, or Asdrubal Cabrera, fresh off the DL, for grounding into a double play in a key spot in the 8th, but really, this game will be defined wholly by Rafael Montero and his complete and total inability to perform at the Major League level. I know that Montero somehow managed to work his way back into everyone's good graces by having a strong spring, but lots of players have strong springs and then fail to answer the bell once the season begins. This is the story of Montero's career. Tons of potential and no follow through. Given a cookie start against an opponent that should have been a cookie, Montero threw 47 pitches in the 1st inning. 47! It's more an indictment of the Padres that the score was only 2-0 at that point. Usually, when a pitcher slogs through 47 pitches in an inning, you figure the other team has hung 5-6 runs on him. But no. the Padres let him off easy. Hell, the Marlins hung 7 on him without him having to throw that many pitches.
47 in the 1st inning. By the 3rd he'd thrown 87 and I think everyone had seen enough. Paul Sewald followed and in the same number of innings threw fewer than half as many pitches and allowed 3 fewer runs. Maybe he should have been the spot starter.
I fell asleep at some point so I don't really know what went on from there. Montero will do that to you. Other than to say that by time I woke up and turned the game back on, it was the 9th inning and things hadn't exactly improved.
The Mets right now can't get out of their own way. I know that seasons go through ebbs and flows and at some point in the middle of last August I'd thought hope was lost and then it wasn't, so this group has done stranger things in less time. But under those circumstances they didn't have a bullpen full of noodles. Doesn't matter who gets used where or when, it seems. So, I mean, you want an answer? Don't look at me, man.