CHICAGO -- Cubs left-hander Cole Hamels and Mets ace Jacob deGrom staged a stellar pitching duel for part of Tuesday night's game that was suspended because of rain.
Play was stopped in the top of the 10th inning with the score tied at 1. The game will resume on Wednesday at noon CT prior to the series finale at Wrigley Field.
Hamels, who had thrown a complete game in his previous outing, was lifted after throwing 93 pitches over five scoreless innings. Acquired at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, Hamels now has a 0.69 ERA in his six starts with the Cubs.
"To put up zeros are great, but first and foremost, we want to go deep in the ballgame," Hamels said. "It's a little hard to do when you walk a couple guys, unfortunately the same guy multiple times. Every time [Austin Jackson] came up, there were guys in scoring position and you have to be careful."
Any Cy Young Award voters who need convincing that deGrom is worthy of the National League honor should ask the Cubs' hitters. The right-hander's first pitch of the game was a ball to Daniel Murphy, but deGrom then fired off 18 straight strikes, all fastballs, in the first two innings. That included a 99.7 mph strike to Javier Baez to end the first, the fastest pitch of deGrom's career.
deGrom finished with 10 K's over eight innings and accounted for the Mets' only run with an RBI single.
"The guy is as advertised," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of deGrom. "That's different. That's another level of stuff."
"He's a prominent pitcher in the game and whenever you face him, you know you're going to get a competitive outing," Chicago left fielder Kyle Schwarber said. "You have to be able to take what he gives you. He has a really good fastball and I think that sets it up. They're all plus pitches and you just have to be able to get one in the zone and try to hit that mistake. It's a lot easier said than done.
"I thought we put up a lot of good at-bats and we made him work," Schwarber said. "It's 1-1, so going into tomorrow we have to be able to scratch out a run and take the game."
The only awkward moment for deGrom came with two out in the fourth when he slipped on the grass and fell trying to field Baez's infield single. He shrugged it off and showed he was just fine when he beat a throw from Baez to reach on an infield single in the fifth.
The Cubs tied the game in the seventh. Albert Almora Jr. was on first with one out and reached third on pinch-hitter Benjamin Zobrist's single before scoring on David Bote's sacrifice fly, which was kept in the ballpark by a northerly wind. Zobrist advanced on a wild pitch, but deGrom struck out Murphy to end the inning.
"I thought overall there were some really nice at-bats," Maddon said of the Cubs' approach to deGrom. "It wasn't like we were totally overmatched. He made great pitches when he needed to. Overall, I'm not disappointed in the at-bats. I think we held our own pretty well."
The Cubs had runners at first and second in the eighth, but deGrom struck out Baez and then got Victor Caratini to hit into a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning.
"He was in a zone today," Schwarber said. "When you have 99, 98, 97 [mph], sometimes you don't have to be perfect to get a foul ball or a swing and a miss. We all know he's a great pitcher and he's got the stuff, and he's got the attitude out there. I felt like we did a really good job today."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Friendly confines: The Mets loaded the bases with two out in the fifth, sparked by deGrom's base hit. But Hamels struck out Michael Conforto on a changeup to end the inning. It was the lefty's last batter of the game. Hamels finished with eight K's. He's thriving at Wrigley Field, going 4-1 with a 1.45 ERA (10 earned runs over 62 innings) in nine career starts here.
Glovework:Jeff McNeil tripled to lead off the Mets' seventh against Jorge De La Rosa, but De La Rosa got Jackson to line out to third baseman Bote. Conforto then did the same, hitting a line drive to first baseman Anthony Rizzo for the second out. Todd Frazier was intentionally walked but De La Rosa struck out Jay Bruce looking at an 84-mph splitter.
HE SAID IT
"He's been playing really well. For the past couple years, he's come into his own. I think it's the first time I've faced him. It's impressive to see, first time to be able to get an at-bat off him. He's got tremendous stuff. You just have to be aware that he's going out there and trying to win. I know he hasn't gotten as many wins as he deserves. He's a tremendous pitcher so you just have to go out there and have to be smart, and have to put up as many zeros as he puts up." -- Hamels, on deGrom
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Amed Rosario was at second and McNeil at first with one out in the Mets' third when both took off and were credited with a double steal. But the Cubs challenged the call at third, saying Caratini had thrown out Rosario. After a review, the ruling was overturned and Rosario was out.
Cubs reliever Steve Cishek is expected to start when play resumes in the 10th inning of the suspended contest, while right-hander Alec Mills (0-0, 1.17 ERA) will start the series finale on Wednesday following a 45-minute break between games at Wrigley Field. Lefty Jason Vargas (4-8, 6.96 ERA) starts for the Mets. This will be Mills' second big league start after a successful outing against the Reds in which he struck out eight over 5 2/3 innings. What was Mills' goal? "I just wanted to come up here and eat as many innings as possible and give us a chance to win," he said.