Cain reaches milestone with 1,500th strikeout

Cain reaches milestone with 1,500th strikeout

SAN DIEGO -- Matt Cain joined a select group of Giants by recording his 1,500th career strikeout during Friday's 2-0 loss to the San Diego Padres.

Cain, who entered the game four strikeouts short of the 1,500 level, reached the milestone by slipping a called third strike past Tommy Medica to end the fourth inning. Earlier, Cain retired Yasmani Grandal and Cameron Maybin on strikes in the second inning before fanning opposing pitcher Eric Stults in the third. Cain finished with six strikeouts, increasing his total to 1,502.

Only three other Giants pitchers have reached the 1,500-strikeout mark since the franchise moved to San Francisco in 1958: Juan Marichal (2,281), Gaylord Perry (1,606) and Tim Lincecum (1,599). Cain's among eight Giants in this category on the club's all-time list, including Christy Mathewson (2,499), Amos Rusie (1,835), Carl Hubbell (1,677) and "Smiling" Mickey Welch (1,570).

After his record fell to 1-7, Cain acknowledged that he couldn't fully appreciate his latest achievement.

"It is something hard to take in because we're struggling," said Cain, a three-time National League All-Star. "Maybe I don't realize it because I never thought about striking a whole lot of guys out."

Cain, who reached the Majors in August 2005, accomplished this feat in his 280th career appearance, all but one a starting assignment.

"It's hard to think he's been pitching this long," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Cain, 29.

Chris Haft is a reporter for Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.