This was showing up for a job interview two hours late. This was arriving at an audition without knowing the lines. This was meeting the future in-laws with insults rather than roses.

The David Stearns/Carlos Mendoza Mets began their administration by putting their worst foot forward — and then tripping on it.

It was only three games and, for example, the 2023 Phillies began 0-3 and wound up back in the NLCS. But you may note the word “back” in that sentence. That was a NL champ-proven club. These Mets are still a mish-mosh of multiple owners, GMs and managers. They are a vision, prioritizing the future while having Steve Cohen and Stearns stress that the playoffs are the 2024 goal.

We have learned not to judge books by their covers or 162-game seasons by the first weekend. But clearly as initial impressions go, being swept at home by a Brewers team that traded its ace (Corbin Burnes), will probably be without its No. 2 starter (Brandon Woodruff) for the season and has gone distinctly young will not exactly fill an already skeptical fan base with belief and trust.

Over three games in late March, the Mets elevated Rhys Hoskins into Chipper Jones, saw Jeff McNeil produce as many hits as unnecessary altercations and failed to control the Brewers running game (8-for-8 in steals). Milwaukee outclassed the Mets in every phase for 27 innings, including Sunday when the Mets lost a game 4-1 and perhaps Tylor Megill too.

Megill was removed after four innings with what bench coach John Gibbons called tenderness in the shoulder area that necessitated an MRI exam (the Mets did not announce the results). So the fill-in manager was explaining what had happened to the fill-in for injured ace Kodai Senga at the end of an 0-3 weekend in which the Mets did not lead over the final 24 innings.

Every team will suffer at least a three-game losing streak at some point this season. But there is just something about 0-3 that stands out poorly like pink cargo shorts at a black-tie event — especially when you add injury and the insult that the other New York team has gotten off 4-0.

“It doesn’t feel good at all,” Francisco Lindor said. “A tough weekend for sure. You wanna open up the season winning. Right now, we are not in that column. Hopefully, quick we better get in that column.”

They didn’t win Sunday because for the second time in three games they were held to one run. Pete Alonso had a pair of opposite-field singles. Francisco Alvarez and Tyrone Taylor had good at-bats. But Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor and McNeil went 0-for-12 to fall to 3-for-36 in the series, so Mendoza remained winless as a major league manager. (He would have been awarded the win even while on suspension.)

The Mets had learned about two hours before first pitch that Mendoza had received a one-game suspension, which is automatic for a manager when a pitcher is suspended for what is deemed purposefully throwing at a batter. Yohan Ramirez was assessed a three-game ban for doing that Saturday against Hoskins, but he appealed and actually pitched, facing Hoskins twice. The highlight Sunday for a mostly docile half-filled Citi Field was Hoskins failing twice with the bases loaded — once by hitting into a 1-2-3 double play and once when whiffed by Ramirez.

Hoskins was the lone Brewer starter not to reach safely. But he already was quite chipper, having driven in four runs Saturday amid the swelling boos attached to now being Citi villain No. 1. All of this was initiated by McNeil, who took exception to a late, hard slide into second by Hoskins in Friday’s opener. The slide, though, was deemed legal not just by the umps, but even the Mets. And McNeil’s explanation that Hoskins should not have been sliding thusly because there was no shot at a double play collapses because McNeil lost the ball making the transfer to throw to first — the only cue that Hoskins as the runner has is what McNeil is doing in front of him with the ball.

But it all would have been tolerable if McNeil and the Mets were doing something with their bats. Instead, through three games, the Mets were hitting .202 with a .598 OPS. It is one thing to be held to one hit and one run in six innings by new Brewers ace Freddy Peralta and his dynamic stuff in the open, but DL Hall, without his best fastball or control, and journeyman Colin Rea held the Mets to three runs in nine innings.

And the Mets did not do enough in any other area to compensate — and win even once. Again, it was just three games out of 162. So the sky is not falling. But it sure did get cloudy and gloomy over the weekend.

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