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Nats' Strasburg fewest innings to 1,500 career K's

Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg reached 1,500 strikeouts in fewer innings pitched than any player in major league history, hitting the milestone during Washington's game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday.

Strasburg got opposing pitcher Dakota Hudson looking in the fifth inning for his eighth strikeout of the game and the 1,500th of his career. He reached the total in 1,272⅓ innings.

According to Elias Sports Bureau data, Boston's Chris Sale had the previous mark, reaching 1,500 in 2017 after 1,290 innings.

"It's pretty cool, but I think I was told a long time ago that strikeouts aren't everything,'' Strasburg said. "I think it's important to know how to put guys away when you have two strikes, but at the same time, I get myself into trouble when I'm trying to strike them out.''

Hall of Famer Randy Johnson holds the record for fewest games needed to reach 1,500 strikeouts. He did it in 206 games, seven fewer than Strasburg, who ranks second on that list.

"Here's a guy that missed a considerable amount of time in his career and still has 1,500 strikeouts,'' manager Dave Martinez said about Strasburg. "It tells me what an unbelievable pitcher he is and, if he stays healthy, the sky's the limit."

Strasburg (3-1) finished the day with nine strikeouts and allowed a run in 6⅔ innings to help the Nationals win 2-1.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.