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After Reaching 2000, Polanco Still Looking Ahead

Placido Polanco has enjoyed a highly productive career, a fact we were reminded of when he earned his 2,000 career hit on a two-run home run off David Carpenter in the Phillies 5-1 win over the Houston Astros on Monday at Citizens Bank Park.

He became the 269th player in Major League history to reach the 2,000 hit mark. While Polanco said he is proud of the feat, it's something he will enjoy when his playing days are over. And according to the 36-year-old third baseman, he doesn't see the end of his career for quite some time.

"It will be nice to look back on something like this when I retire but right now I'm focused on this season," Polanco said before this afternoon's game with Astros. "I still feel I have a lot of baseball left."

This is the final year of his three-year $18 million deal, with a mutual option for 2013.

Even though he earned his second all-star berth last year, Polanco suffered through an injury plagued season. He had both a back injury and then a sports hernia. After the season he underwent surgery to repair the sport hernia.

"The injuries were frustrating and it's great to be able to play every day and grind it out," Polanco said.

There are obviously many quality players who reached the 2000-hit plateau but also a number who just missed, including clutch players such as Willie Horton (1993), Dusty Baker (1981), Fred Lynn (1,960) and Jim Edmonds (1,949) to name a few.

It's quite an accomplishment for Polanco, who said the fan who caught his home run ball, gave it back to him in exchange for an autographed bat.

Right now the only milestone Polanco would like is to help the Phillies win a sixth consecutive National League East title. That doesn't mean he wasn't able to sneak a moment of reflection upon his milestone.

"I have been very fortunate to be around the right people and teams," he said. "I appreciate everything but right now, but main thought is helping us get to the playoffs."