09/05/12 1:50 AM ET
Mets call up six players; Familia makes debut
By Steve Overbey / Special to MLB.com
Right-handers Jeurys Familia, Elvin Ramirez, Jenrry Mejia and lefty Justin Hampson joined the club along with outfielders Jordany Valdespin and Fred Lewis.
Familia, who sports a 98-mph fastball, was 9-9 with a 4.73 ERA in 28 starts. A starter at Triple-A Buffalo, the Mets will use him as a reliever for the time being.
Familia, who is the Mets' No. 3 overall prospect, made his Major League debut in Tuesday's 5-1 loss to the Cardinals, entering the game at the start of the eighth inning. He gave up no runs and one hit. Familia struck out pinch-hitter Lance Berkman with a 97-mph fastball to lead off the inning. He gave up a single to Jon Jay, but then got Matt Carpenter to ground into a inning-ending double play. Familia threw nine pitches.
"I felt good warming up in the bullpen," Familia said. "I prepared my mind and tried to focus."
Lewis hit .294 with 13 homers and 45 RBIs in 106 games at Buffalo. He was selected as the team MVP.
Valdespin joined the Mets for the fifth time this season. He has hit .242 with eight homers and 26 RBIs in 75 Major League games.
Ramirez is up for the third time this season. He was 0-1 with a 7.30 ERA in 11 games.
Mejia, 22, was 4-4 with a 3.59 ERA at three different Minor League levels.
Hampson had three scoreless relief appearances in a short stint with the Mets earlier this season. He allowed one run in one inning Tuesday.
In order to make room on the roster, the team transferred catcher Rob Johnson and left-hander Tim Byrdak to the 60-day disabled list.
St. Louis radio call helped Cards on appeal play
ST. LOUIS -- New York Mets manager Terry Collins said Tuesday afternoon that it was St. Louis radio broadcaster Mike Shannon that initially spotted Andres Torres' misstep at first base in the ninth inning of Monday's 5-4 loss at Busch Stadium.
Torres appeared to lead off the inning with a double down the right-field line. But he was called out for missing first by umpire Dave Rackley on an appeal play. After the game, St. Louis manager Mike Matheny gave former Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran credit for catching the mistake. Beltran, who did not play, was warming up in the batting cage underneath the dugout and saw the play on television.
But Collins says that Beltran heard Shannon mention on the radio that he felt Torres missed the base. Beltran quickly went to Matheny, who had pitcher Jason Motte appeal the play at first.
Shannon knew immediately that something was amiss and he passed that information on to his listeners.
"I saw the runner round the bag and then the umpire kept staring down there," Shannon said. "I knew that since [Rackley] kept looking, something might be up."
Shannon did not care that Beltran was taking credit for spotting the miscue.
Collins joked that Beltran was just a "delivery boy" -- simply passing along information to his manager.
Collins said he and Shannon, a former St. Louis third baseman, are friends.
"I guess he doesn't like me as much as I thought," Collins kidded.
Hampson pitches in hometown for the first time
ST. LOUIS -- Triple-A Buffalo Bisons left-hander Justin Hampson was all packed and preparing for a leisurely drive from Buffalo to his offseason home in the St. Louis suburb of Glen Carbon, Ill., on Monday.
Then he got the phone call.
Buffalo manager Wally Backman informed Hampson that he was indeed headed to St. Louis. But instead, he would be joining the Mets for the remainder of the season.
"I was surprised, I wasn't really expecting it," he said.
Hampson, who was 4-3 with a 2.33 ERA in 51 appearances in Buffalo, quickly changed plans. He jumped on the first plane to St. Louis and was activated in time for Tuesday's contest.
Meanwhile his wife, Wendy, and the couple's two girls were given the chore of driving back with the family belongings.
Hampson made his long-awaited St. Louis debut on Tuesday night, giving up one run in one inning in the Mets' 5-1 loss to the Cardinals. He surrendered a lead off single to Daniel Descalso in the sixth. Descalso eventually came around to score on a one-out groundout by Jon Jay.
"It was really nice -- I got out on the mound, looked around and took a breath," Hampson said. "I definitely enjoyed the moment."
Hampson would have loved a clean 1-2-3 inning, but he was pleased with the effort.
"It was cool to get out there in the place where I came to games," he said.
Wendy and the children were still in Buffalo tying up some loose ends. But his parents and about 20 other friends and family were in the stands to see Hampson in action.
"I heard them yelling when I came out of the bullpen," Hampson said. "I was hoping they would take it easy."
Hampson did not allow a run in three relief appearances with the Mets earlier this season. The Bisons ended their season on Sunday.
Hampson made his big league debut with the Colorado Rockies on Sept. 10, 2006. He pitched in 74 games with San Diego in 2007-08 and underwent shoulder surgery in '09.
The Mets signed him to a Minor League contract on Feb. 16, 2011.
After a strong start in Buffalo, the Mets called him up on June 25, but he was sent back down 11 days later.
Mets manager Terry Collins and general manager Sandy Alderson have been keeping a watchful eye on Hampson.
"He's a strike-thrower," Collins said. "He's not an overpowering guy, but he knows how to use his pitches."
Hampson, who attended nearby Edwardsville High, had a pass list of about 25 for the games Tuesday and Wednesday.
Shoppach providing Mets a boost offensively
ST. LOUIS -- Mets catcher Kelly Shoppach continues to sizzle at the plate.
Shoppach, acquired from the Boston Red Sox on Aug. 14, hit a two-run homer in Monday's 5-4 loss at St. Louis.
The eight-year veteran had spent his entire career in the American League prior to the trade.
Shoppach was batting .303 with three homers and nine RBIs in 11 games with the Mets entering Tuesday. New York has won five of the last six games in which he has appeared.
Shoppach says part of the key to his success in switching leagues comes from his lack of knowledge regarding NL hurlers.
"Sometimes, as a catcher, I can outthink myself," he said. "Not knowing anything about the pitchers simplifies what I'm trying to do."
Shoppach triggered a ninth-inning rally with a two-run single on Saturday in a 5-3 win at Miami.
"I just go in with a real simple game plan," he said.
Mets manager Terry Collins has been just as pleased with Shoppach's defensive work in helping the club's young pitching staff.
"Experience like his is very valuable," Collins said. "He's aware of what needs to be done in every situation."
Steve Overbey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.