DeGrom pitched his first complete game of the season and lowered his major league-leading ERA to 1.71, leading the Mets over the Philadelphia Phillies 3-1 Saturday.
It appeared deGrom's day might be cut short due to a 41-minute rain delay that began in the middle of the fourth. Pitching coach Dave Eiland put a 45-minute limit on returning.
DeGrom was so eager to resume that he walked toward the Philadelphia dugout to get a ball to warm up. He began to get loose on the mound before the umpires returned and prior to the Phillies' grounds crew raking the field. He was forced to wait several minutes before throwing his final warmup toss as the field was being groomed.
"I didn't want to get close to that 45 minutes," he said.
DeGrom (8-7) kept boosting his NL Cy Young Award credentials and allowed only an unearned run, the result of his own error. He gave up seven hits, walked none, struck out nine and threw his hardest pitch, a 99 mph fastball, on the next-to-last of his 108 pitches.
"Jacob has continued to prove why he is probably the front-runner at this point," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said.
DeGrom has thrown three complete games in 132 starts in the majors. He tossed a one-hitter at Citizens Bank Park on July 17, 2016, in a 5-0 win over the Phillies.
Eiland approached deGrom prior to the ninth, and the right-hander was emphatic that he wanted to finish.
"I definitely wanted it badly," deGrom said. "I said, `I'm going out there.' And he was fine with it."
DeGrom allowed a leadoff single to Rhys Hoskins in the fourth and then retired nine of 10 before the seventh, when Philadelphia got its lone run.
DeGrom pulled within two starts of Dwight Gooden's club record with his 22nd consecutive start allowing three runs or less. He also eclipsed 200 strikeouts, finishing with 204 for the season. The two-time All-Star entered second in the NL and sixth in the majors in Ks.
"A lot of life on his fastball and best slider of the year," catcher Devin Mesoraco said. "He had everything working. Very impressive."
Hoskins and Maikel Franco each doubled among their two hits for the Phillies, who began the day a half-game behind Atlanta in the NL East and leading the NL wild-card race.
Jake Arrieta (9-8) allowed one run on four hits with six strikeouts and no walks in six strong innings.
The Phillies scored after Nick Williams and Franco hit consecutive one-out singles. Williams scored when deGrom couldn't handle Rosario's throw from short on a potential double-play on Odubel Herrera's groundball.
But the Mets got out of the inning when deGrom threw to first, where second baseman McNeil tagged out Herrera, who couldn't get back to the bag after making a move toward second base.
WHO'S ON FIRST?
Phillies manager Gabe Kapler stuck with Carlos Santana at first base for defensive purposes despite Justin Bour's strong career numbers against deGrom. Bour, acquired Aug. 10 from Miami to provide pop off the bench, entered 8 for 21 with two homers off deGrom.
"I thought long and hard about Bour starting today," Kapler said. "I really wanted to find a way to get (Bour) in there today, but with Jake Arrieta on the mound, it's very important that we put our best defensive infield out there."
Bour struck out pinch hitting in the eighth. Santana was 1 for 4 with a strikeout.
Callaway said RHP Corey Oswalt will move to the bullpen to keep the Mets with a five-man starting rotation. Oswalt is 2-2 with a 5.16 ERA in nine games, eight of which are starts.
Mets: OF Jay Bruce (sore right hip), on the DL since June 18, went 0 for 3 in a rehab outing with Single-A St. Lucie on Friday night.
Phillies: RHP Jerad Eickhoff is scheduled to throw 75 pitches in a rehab outing with Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Sunday. Eickhoff has been out all season with a right lat strain.
The teams wrap up their five-game series on Sunday night at Bowman Field in Williamsport as part of the Little League Classic. Mets LHP Jason Vargas (2-8, 8.10) opposes Phillies RHP Nick Pivetta (7-9, 4.37). Vargas has struggled but had success against the Phillies the last time he faced them in 2011 with Seattle, pitching a three-hit shutout.
Musgrove expected to start for the Padres against the Rockies
Colorado Rockies (44-58, fourth in the NL West) vs. San Diego Padres (59-45, third in the NL West)
Hernandez expected to start as Kansas City hosts Chicago
Chicago White Sox (60-42, first in the AL Central) vs. Kansas City Royals (44-56, fourth in the AL Central)
Kuhl scheduled to start as Pittsburgh hosts Milwaukee
Milwaukee Brewers (60-42, first in the NL Central) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (38-63, fifth in the NL Central)
Mize expected to start for the Tigers against the Orioles
Baltimore Orioles (35-65, fifth in the AL East) vs. Detroit Tigers (49-55, third in the AL Central)
Washington Nationals to visit the Philadelphia Phillies
Washington Nationals (46-54, fourth in the NL East) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (50-50, second in the NL East)
Cobb scheduled to start for Los Angeles against Oakland
Oakland Athletics (57-46, second in the AL West) vs. Los Angeles Angels (51-50, fourth in the AL West)