HOUSTON — No longer in danger of being on-call, Grant Hartwig was called up.
The Mets summoned the righty reliever, who had spurned medical school for the pros two years ago, for what would be his major league debut in Monday’s 11-1 win over the Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Hartwig entered the blowout and did his job.
The righty allowed a leadoff single in the ninth inning to Mauricio Dubon, but induced a double-play ball from Cesar Salazar.
After walking Grae Kessinger, Hartwig got Yainer Diaz to ground into a fielder’s choice.
After 16 pitches that no one else in the Mets’ depleted bullpen needed to throw, Hartwig could exhale and celebrate with his parents.
He said they made it in time for a debut that was improbable.
Hartwig was a capable, if not outstanding, starter and reliever with Miami of Ohio and went undrafted in 2021.
The pre-med and microbiology major signed up for the MCAT, believing he would apply to medical school.
Instead, the Mets called shortly after the draft. Hartwig picked the game.
Last year, Hartwig rose from Single-A Port St. Lucie all the way to Triple-A Syracuse.
This year, he pitched to a 4.21 ERA in 25 ²/₃ innings with Syracuse, including 15 walks and 35 strikeouts.
With the Mets playing down one roster spot because of Drew Smith’s sticky-stuff suspension, they called up Hartwig and optioned righty John Curtiss, who pitched 2 ²/₃ innings in Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals.
Hartwig was given the news Sunday, upon Syracuse returning from a road trip. He heard someone yell his name in the clubhouse and wheeled, yelling, “What?”
He apologized when he realized it was manager Dick Scott, who told him he was going to the big leagues.
“It’s just shocking,” the 25-year-old said. “But it’s awesome.”
Hartwig doesn’t know what will lie in his future and whether he will one day pursue medical school again.
“He can still do both,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Francisco Alvarez was pulled in the bottom of the ninth inning after he took a foul ball off his right hand while catching an inning prior.
X-rays were negative, the team said, but his status was not immediately clear.
He said he would take time before Tuesday’s game to test his hand to see whether he could play.
“Right now I feel good,” Alvarez said through interpreter Alan Suriel. “But at the end of the day, the decision is the trainer’s.”
With Jake Meyers on first base, Martin Maldonado fouled a pitch from Max Scherzer directly into Alvarez’s throwing hand.
Alvarez was in pain and checked by trainers, but after a few tosses with Pete Alonso, he finished out the inning.
Alvarez, who went 1-for-3 with a walk and scored a run, said he does not keep his throwing hand behind his back when a runner is on base, which allows him to release the ball quicker on a steal attempt.
Joey Lucchesi was named the International League Pitcher of the Week. In his past two outings with Triple-A Syracuse, the lefty has allowed two runs in 13 ⅔ innings with 15 strikeouts and two walks.
Lucchesi has pitched to a 4.43 ERA in five games with the big-league Mets this season and was demoted in mid-May.
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