DeGrom threw five-hit ball with a walk (intentional) in seven innings. His 13 strikeouts tied Tom Seaver's franchise mark for a postseason performance, which the Hall of Famer set in Game 1 of the 1973 National League Championship Series against the Cincinnati Reds.
"I think just mixing it up on them," said DeGrom, who retired the final 11 batters he faced, on why he was so successful against the Dodgers. "My change-up was good tonight, and I threw a few strikeouts to lefties, but also was locating my fastball pretty good, too. So I think just trying to keep them off balance and get ahead."
DeGrom and Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw, who struck out 11, became the first two opposing pitchers to strike out at least 10 hitters each in a playoff game. It tied for second all-time in a postseason game, knotting the 24 fanned by Florida Marlins right-hander Livan Hernandez (15) and Atlanta Braves ace Greg Maddux (nine) in the NLDS in 1997. The pair fell one strike out shy of the record 25 combined by Kevin Brown (16) of the San Diego Padres and Randy Johnson (nine) of the Houston Astros in the 1998 NLDS.
But deGrom had the upper hand in this affair.
"I thought we did a pretty good job with him of not chasing the change or the breaking ball down, but with that you end up chasing some elevated fastballs, and I think he beat us with that a little bit," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We had a few chances. We just weren't able to get that hit early."
Mets closer Jeurys Familia worked a perfect 1 1/3 innings for the save.
With the win, the Mets took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series. Game 2 is Saturday at Dodger Stadium.
Kershaw lost his fifth straight playoff game. Kershaw (0-1), who is 1-6 in the postseason, was charged with three runs on four hits with four walks, which tied a season-high, in 6 2/3 innings. Kershaw also lost to the Mets for the first time in 10 career starts.
Murphy gave the Mets an early lead, driving a 2-0 Kershaw fastball into the visitor's bullpen in right for a solo blast to open the fourth inning.
"My first at-bat, he chewed me up and spit me out," said Murphy, who carries a .317 career batting average against the Dodgers with 14 home runs and 17 RBIs. "The next at-bat I was able to get my foot down a little earlier. He doesn't make a lot of mistakes, and I felt really fortunate to put a good swing on the ball he threw me."
With two outs in the eighth and the bases loaded, third baseman David Wright laced a two-run single up the middle off reliever Pedro Baez to make it 3-0.
"I was able to put a good swing on it," Wright said. "When a guy is throwing that hard, you allow him to provide the power and you just try to go nice and easy, and just make sure you just get to it and beat him to the spot."
The Dodgers scored a run on first baseman Adrian Gonzalez's RBI single to left, scoring second baseman Howie Kendrick, who reached on a double, to slice the lead to two runs with two outs in the eighth. However, Familia induced third baseman Justin Turner to line out to first to limit the damage.
Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis, who went 1-for-3, had a fourth-inning single to extend his postseason hitting streak to a franchise record-tying 11 games. Ellis tied left fielder Carl Crawford's mark, set in 2014.
NOTES: At 21, SS Corey Seager is the youngest position player to start a postseason game for the Dodgers. ... The Dodgers led the National League in homers this season with 187, the most they have hit since smacking 203 in 2004. Los Angeles also led the majors in fielding percentage at .988 and committed just 75 errors. ... The Mets won each of the previous NLDS they played, including a sweep of the Dodgers in 2006. New York also defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks (1999) and the San Francisco Giants (2000). ... New York won the season series 4-3. ... Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard (9-7, 3.24 ERA) will face Dodgers RHP Zack Greinke (19-3, 1.66 ERA) in Game 2 on Saturday.