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Lincecum joins elite group with 1,000th K

Lincecum joins elite group with 1,000th K

Lincecum joins elite group with 1,000th K
SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Lincecum joined an elite group Monday night when he struck out the Nationals' Jerry Hairston Jr. to end the second inning.

Hairston became Lincecum's 1,000th career strikeout victim, making the Giants' two-time Cy Young Award winner the eighth pitcher to record 1,000 strikeouts in his first five seasons in the Major Leagues.

"I'm one of his victims," teammate Miguel Tejada said. "He's struck me out more than a few times. That's pretty impressive to achieve a number like that in so little time."

Lincecum said he was aware of the standing ovation he received as he walked off the field following the second inning.

"That part of it was great," he said. "It was awesome and incredibly loud. I had my head down because I was thinking about the home run [he allowed to Michael Morse in the inning]."

Lincecum's manager was able to enjoy his achievement.

"It's a milestone," said Bruce Bochy. "It's hard to believe he's got 1,000 strikeouts already. He's still too young."

Kerry Wood was the last pitcher to reach the milestone, accomplishing the feat between 1998-2003. Others on the list include Tom Seaver, Bert Blyleven, Dwight Gooden, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Hideo Nomo and Mark Langston.

Seaver amassed 1,155 strikeouts through his first five years, which tops the list of eight. Lincecum is within reach of that mark if he maintains his health.

"That's a reflection of how durable he is and that he is a strikeout-type of pitcher," Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan said. "I have been impressed with him. He has been consistent and maintained his stuff. A lot of people had questions about his durability and unorthodox delivery, but he has been one of the premier pitchers in the league."

Ryan, the all-time strikeout leader with 5,714, doesn't think this is the time to discuss Lincecum's ability to surpass him on the all-time list.

"Let's re-assess that after he gets his 20 years in," Ryan said.

Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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