Hunter Greene matching impressive milestone in sleepy Reds loss should infuriate fans

Greene just matched a modern Reds record after another solid outing over the weekend.

Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates
Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin Berl/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Reds are, in a lot of ways, an incredibly frustrating team to watch in 2024. On some days, they look like they could beat any team in the league, with multiple dynamic players on both sides of the ball. On other days, they look like a team that makes dumb mistakes and needs a complete overhaul before they are going to be able to compete. For as much talent as this team has, being 39-45 at the beginning of July has some Reds fans wanting to pull their hair out.

However, one player that has not been a cause of their inconsistency this season has been Hunter Greene. No one has ever denied Greene's talent, going back to when he was the second overall pick in the 2017 draft. While his fastball velocity and the ability to overwhelm hitters has been there since day one, his ability to throw strikes, stay on the field, and limit mistakes didn't arrive until this season.

Nowadays, Greene has become mister consistent. Not only is he still throwing in the high 90s and remaining a regular fixture in Pitching Ninja highlights, but he has been performing every single time he takes the mound in 2024, as he just matched the modern Reds record for starts by a pitcher to begin a season with at least five strikeouts. Unfortunately, it was for naught, as the Reds' offense failed to show up in their shutout loss to the hated Cardinals. Yup, another shutout loss.

Hunter Greene's development for Reds this season has been more than just strikeouts

Considering the Reds' track record with pitchers, Greene's ability to reach this level of consistency has been a welcome sight. Not only is he throwing more strikes this year and getting a lot of swing and miss, but he hasn't sacrificed the quality of his stuff and is giving up a lot less hard contact as well. It is no wonder that his 3.70 ERA this season is the best pace of his career by a comfortable margin.

Now, is Greene all of a sudden a perfect pitcher? Absolutely not. He still gives up too many home runs, walks too many guys, and is not good at keeping the ball on the ground. None of these are new problems. However, what he HAS done is improved in those areas enough to take advantage of his overpowering stuff more often and limit the damage done when he does make mistakes.

It remains to be seen if Greene will ever get to the lofty "Reds ace" status that many predicted he'd reach after he got drafted. He has the stuff to do it, but he is also a power pitcher who has a history of injury troubles. Regardless of how high his long-term potential could eventually fly, it is just nice to see him take a step forward this year and give Cincinnati some sorely needed consistency when he is out there on the mound, even if the rest of the team can't seem to follow suit.

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