Jacob deGrom continued to make his case for the National League Cy Young Award Saturday afternoon, when the New York Mets ace shrugged off a 41-minute fourth-inning rain delay and tossed his third career complete game as the Mets beat the host Philadelphia Phillies 3-1 at Citizens Bank Park.
The Mets have won six of 10. The Phillies, who began the day atop the NL wild-card race, have lost six of 10.
DeGrom (8-7) allowed an unearned run — due to an error questionably charged to him — on seven hits and no walks while striking out nine. It was the third straight win for deGrom, who lowered his major league-leading ERA from 1.81 to 1.71 while reaching 200 strikeouts for the second straight season.
DeGrom withstood threats in the seventh and ninth innings. With the Mets up 3-0, he gave up consecutive one-out singles in the seventh before inducing Odubel Herrera to hit a potential double play ball to first base. The return throw from shortstop Amed Rosario went off the glove of a sprawling deGrom, who was charged with the error as Nick Williams scored. But deGrom raced after the ball and fired to second baseman Jeff McNeil covering first to catch Herrera off the bag for the final out.
In the ninth, deGrom gave up a leadoff single to Carlos Santana but got Wilson Ramos to hit into a double play on the next pitch before retiring Williams on a grounder to first. DeGrom finished with 108 pitches, and his next-to-last toss was clocked at 99 mph — his hardest pitch of the day.
DeGrom is in a three-way race for the Cy Young with Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer, who earned his big league-leading 16th win on Friday, and the Phillies’ Aaron Nola, who improved to 14-3 while beating the Mets on Friday. No starting pitcher has ever won the Cy Young with fewer than 13 wins.
Phillies pitcher Jake Arrieta, the 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner, and deGrom traded zeroes until the fourth, when the Mets scored thanks in large part to Arrieta’s throwing error. McNeil led off the inning with a single and went to third when Arrieta’s pickoff throw sailed past Santana. One out later, McNeil trotted home on Wilmer Flores’ single.
Todd Frazier followed with a single, which made the run earned, before Arrieta struck out Austin Jackson and retired Jose Bautista on a pop-up.
Heavy rains arrived immediately after the Mets’ half of the fourth.
After Arrieta exited following the sixth, the Mets added insurance against Luis Garcia in the seventh, when Devin Mesoraco hit a solo homer and McNeil laced an RBI triple to score Amed Rosario.
Arrieta (9-8) allowed the one run on four hits and no walks while striking out six over six innings.
—Field Level Media