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Lincecum achieves milestone with 1,500th K

NEW YORK -- Right-hander Tim Lincecum achieved another milestone on Friday night, when he recorded the 1,500th strikeout of his career to become one of the most prolific pitchers in that category.

Lincecum, who entered the game against the Yankees with 1,498 K's, fanned Ichiro Suzuki to open the game before whiffing Curtis Granderson in the second inning to reach 1,500. He struck out six in his 6 2/3-inning effort to hike his total to 1,504.

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After the game, a 5-1 loss, the ball he threw for strike three to Granderson sat on a shelf in his clubhouse stall, adorned by a piece of athletic tape marked "#1,500."

But he does not yet regard the ball as a cherished memento.

"It's cool, but at the end of the day, I lost. That's what I'm thinking about," Lincecum said.

A two-time National League Cy Young Award winner and four-time All-Star, Lincecum has the third-highest strikeout total among all pitchers through their first seven seasons since 1893, trailing only Tom Seaver (1,655) and Bert Blyleven (1,546).

This deed lengthened his list of strikeout-related exploits.

When Lincecum struck out 1,000 batters in his first five seasons, he was the eighth pitcher in the modern era (since 1900) to accomplish the feat, joining Seaver, Blyleven, Dwight Gooden, Kerry Wood, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Hideo Nomo and Mark Langston.

By exceeding 200 strikeouts for four consecutive years (2008-11), Lincecum became the third Giant to build such a streak, matching Amos Rusie (1890-93) and Juan Marichal (1963-66).

Chris Haft is a reporter for

San Francisco Giants, Tim Lincecum