That's why his typically brilliant performance Tuesday night was such a welcome sight in a sea of bad news.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner struck out nine in his successful return from the injured list, and Tomas Nido hit a tiebreaking homer to send the depleted Mets to a 3-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
Back from a bout with tightness on his right side, deGrom gave up only Ryan McMahon's solo homer in five innings of three-hit ball. He fired his usual assortment of 100 mph fastballs and nasty sliders during his first big league outing since May 9.
"It felt like a really long time,'' deGrom said. "I hate not going out there. You feel like you're letting down the team.''
The nimble right-hander walked none and was removed after 63 pitches. He also singled at the plate for his eighth hit in seven games this season.
"Everything felt good. Body felt good," said deGrom, who said he is pretty sure he hurt himself on a swing against Arizona.
He fanned eight over three innings last week in a rehab appearance for Class A St. Lucie, then came back Tuesday to give the Mets a major boost.
"He was outstanding,'' manager Luis Rojas said. "This is who he is, just a complete baseball player.''
Nido connected for a two-run shot off Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-3) in the sixth after Dominic Smith singled. Nido stopped at second when umpires initially ruled his drive hit the top of the wall, but they changed the call to a home run without benefit of replay following a huddle in the infield.
"I knew I hit it well,'' Nido said. "I figured it was over his head. I just didn't know if I had enough.''
Cameras showed the ball indeed barely cleared the fence in left-center before bouncing back onto the field.
Nido waved his arms to spur on the Citi Field crowd as he finished rounding the bases with his third homer of the season. The backup catcher has been pressed into more regular duty lately because New York has 16 players on the injured list, most in the majors.
"He's earned the playing time that he's gotten,'' Rojas said.
Despite all the injuries, the Mets (22-20) lead the NL East. They snapped a three-game slide and won for the fourth time in 11 games.
A trio of Mets relievers combined for four hitless innings. Miguel Castro (1-1) struck out four in two innings, Trevor May worked the eighth, and Edwin Diaz whiffed three in the ninth for his eighth save, completing a three-hitter.
"I'm not sure I've ever seen a game where every opponent's fastball was over 95 mph," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "That was something.''
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Jacob deGrom has strong start in return from IL
In his first start since May 9, Jacob deGrom allows one hit and strikes out nine Rockies over five innings.