Lackey reaches 2,000-strikeout milestone

Lackey reaches 2,000-strikeout milestone

CHICAGO -- Cubs pitcher John Lackey struck out the Nationals' Jayson Werth in the fourth inning of the Cubs' 8-6 win Friday for his 2,000th career strikeout. Lackey got Werth looking at an 81-mph cutter for the first out of the frame.

"Honestly, I didn't even know I was that close [to the milestone]," Lackey said. "I had a runner at first and was trying to get out of the inning. I guess [2,000 K's] means I'm old and I've been around a while and have done a few things."

The right-hander became the fifth active pitcher with at least 2,000 strikeouts, joining CC Sabathia, Bartolo Colon, Felix Hernandez and Jake Peavy.

Lackey, who signed a two-year deal with the Cubs last December, also is one of three active pitchers with at least 2,500 innings pitched, joining Colon and Sabathia.

On Friday, Lackey finished with 11 strikeouts, matching his season high, which he also did April 18 against the Cardinals. Against the Nats, Lackey gave up a first-inning home run to Anthony Rendon and an RBI single to Max Scherzer in the second, and then settled into a good groove through seven innings.

"It was definitely a day for the hitters," Lackey said of the wind blowing out at Wrigley Field for the first time this season. "I was fortunate to get a few strikeouts. You never know with a fly ball when things are like that around here."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.