Cincinnati – When Hunter Green’s four-stage fastball has been in fashion this season, the Reds’ rookie bowler has shown an impressive ability to do whatever he wants with hitters.
When Greene’s Fastball isn’t nearly as effective, he’s more likely to get results as he did Thursday against the Dodgers. This time around, he took a heavy blow for three home runs during the Reds’ 10-5 loss, giving him a questionable lead in the Major League with 20 players in 2022.
“It’s close, man. Very close, you see,” said Reds left-back Tommy Pham, who made two early defensive passes and three runs in the seventh inning. It’s just part of this process. As a young player like him, you have those bumps in the road. All he can do is learn from every outing and keep working on getting better.”
When Cincinnati dropped its seventh straight game and ranked 11th from the last 14, Green allowed six earned runs in nine strokes (which matched a career high) and two walks and three strikes over five innings and 98 runs against Los Angeles.
“I’ve played some really good pitches and played some not-so-great pitches,” Green said. “Going back and forth between these two. Obviously, a strong hitting team. They took advantage of the pitches I didn’t execute and hit some pitches that I did.”
The Reds’ defense knocked out three base riders during the first three rounds, but Green couldn’t curb the damaging contact. Each of the three pigeons came against him at fast balls that were at least 97 mph.
In the third game at 1-1, Freddy Freeman continued to threaten the Reds’ bowlers when his two-legged Homer dropped his racket at 108.4 mph and Statcast traveled 427 feet into the right center field to make it 3-0. Freeman has made 10 RBIs in a three-game streak and 14 against the Reds this season.
“I was trying to reach my hand a little bit. The ball just stayed [in the] Green said.
With one in the fourth inning, Cody Bellinger hit the fastball 3-0 into the right field to advance the Dodgers five runs. Homer put two outsiders into the right field by Max Muncie in the fifth inning Cincinnati at the back, 6-1.
Of the 20 people Greene allowed, 13 came on pitches that were 97 mph or faster — already a one-season record since pitch-tracking began in 2008. Notable personalities who have held the previous 10-person record include Noah Syndergaard (2015 and ”19) Gerrit Cole (2021) and Luis Severino (2018).
“Coming in, I knew I was going to have days like today. I was really mentally prepared for that,” Green said. “I am very proud of my job and definitely want to do well. You have guys who have 10 years of playing and 10 years of experience with you as well. I understand that not many people want to hear that, they want to see the results. I want to see results too
“I like to think I have all the talent in the world. This will only get you so far in this game. Experience helps a lot. I’ve had some moments so far that I’ve learned from, and I will continue to do so throughout this season and for the rest of my career.”
But Greene’s overall record is 3-8 with 5.66 ERA in 14 starts. With fellow young Nick Ludlow likely to return from the injured list next week, the Red Devils will likely choose Greene for Triple-A Louisville, especially because he will need limited innings after putting in just 179 shots in the Minors since 2017.
However, demotion appears unlikely.
“This is exactly what Hunter needs to experience,” said Reds manager David Bale. “As someone who cares about Hunter, of course you want him to be perfect and everything to be great. Success, the hardest outings, all that, he’s on the right track. It’s all about how he responds. So far up to this point, he’s been great. He’s learned in Every time, no matter if it was a great start or a difficult start or something else, he dealt with it every time. It has to keep going.”