PHOENIX -- Tom Glavine's inexorable march to his 300th career victory stalled for the third consecutive outing on Thursday night. But that didn't stop the Mets left-hander from garnering a couple of more milestones on the way to Cooperstown, N.Y. Glavine's strikeout of D-backs second baseman Orlando Hudson to end the first inning was the 2,500th of his career. And his sixth-inning whiff of Eric Byrnes was No. 2,503, moving Glavine ahead of New York Giants great Christy Mathewson into 28th place on the all-time list. "I don't want to say it's not a big deal to me, but on the one hand it's really not," Glavine said. "I don't consider myself to be, nor does anyone else, a strikeout pitcher. It's another one of those things that it's a nice number and nice company to be in. Hopefully there'll be a bunch more before it's over. It's certainly not a statistic I'm enamored with, but it is a nice number."
The big number is seven and Glavine has been stuck on 293 career wins since he defeated the Phillies for his third victory of the season on April 17. Since then, he's suffered through three no-decisions in a row, although he avoided loss No. 193 on Thursday night when the Mets erupted for six runs in the ninth inning, turning a one-run deficit with none on and one out into a stunning, 9-4 win at Chase Field. Glavine, 41, was long in the clubhouse by then, gone after six innings, having allowed all four runs on five hits -- including homers by Hudson and Chris Snyder. He walked none and struck out four. It was the 642nd start of his 21-year-career. "The tendency for me now, having gone three starts without a win, is to get a little frustrated," Glavine said. "At the same time, my job is to give us an opportunity to win, which I've done. It's the kind of thing where I'm trying to focus on what I'm doing. I know I'm throwing the ball. I know I'm pitching well. If I continue to do that, with this team, my wins are going to come. "I have to fight myself from looking at what's going on and trying to hurry up and get somewhere. Instead, I have to let things take their course. It's a long year. If I stay healthy there's no reason to believe I'm not going to get seven more wins." Only 22 pitchers in history have won 300 or more games and Glavine right now is second on the active list behind Greg Maddux, his former Braves teammate now with the Padres, who has won 335. Roger Clemens has won 348, but he's in limbo at the moment between retirement and pitching another abbreviated season. On the strikeout list, Glavine is the seventh among active pitchers behind Randy Johnson, Maddux, Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Mike Mussina. Johnson, who is scheduled to start for the Diamondbacks against the Mets' John Maine on Friday night, is the all-time strikeout leader among left-handers with 4,556. Glavine is seventh all-time among left-handers, although Johnson is the only other one who remains active. Like most players who are approaching and passing significant milestones, Glavine said it's hard to put it all into perspective as he prepares to do his job. After all, he knows he can't win seven games in one day. "No question," he said. "They're the kind of things that are hard to enjoy when you're still playing. All of these things, when I'm done playing and I look back on them, I'm going to be extremely proud. That's not to say that I'm not proud now. But when I'm done playing I think I'll have a much better appreciation for it than I do right now. Right now it's just another thing along the way that I can't enjoy because I have too many other things that I want to do." Glavine's next start is slated for Tuesday night against the Giants in San Francisco. It'll be his fourth shot at career victory No. 294.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.