2 Reds players who must improve vs. Phillies and 1 who needs to stay hot

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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The Cincinnati Reds begin a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies (1-5) today. The series was slated to begin on Thursday with an off day on Friday, but that game was postponed nearly 24 hours in advance.

The Reds are off to a decent start with a 3-2 record, and they'll be visiting a struggling Phillies squad who's missing some key players. Both Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins are on the IL. Zack Wheeler, who finished second inthe Cy Young voting two years ago will be on the bump today for Philadephia's home opener.

The Phillies went to the World Series last year and added All-Star shortstop Trea Turner. Former teammate Nick Castellanos will be lurking in right field, and a certain Middletown, Ohio native will be looking to launch some Scwar-bombs into the upper deck of Citizen's Bank Park. Which two Reds players need to elevate their game, and who needs to keep rolling?

Reds vs. Phillies: Starting pitcher Hunter Greene must improve

There's no easy way around it, Hunter Greene must have a better outing than he did on Opening Day. Fans can debate whether or not David Bell pulled his starter too early, but even if the Reds manager left Greene to face Oneil Cruz in the top of the fourth inning on Opening Day, his day was going to be over before the fifth inning began.

The Reds need Greene to be dominant No. 1 that everyone in that clubhouse knows he can be. Despite the fact that the bullpen is coming off two full days of rest, no one in Reds Country wants to see Bell hand the ball over to a reliever with more than three innings remaining in the game.

On the plus side, Greene was dominant in terms of the strikeouts. While he only recorded 10 total outs, eight of them came via the punch out. But Greene has got to be more efficient and get into, at least, the fifth inning on Friday afternoon.

Zack Wheeler will be opposing Hunter Greene on Friday, and he's unlikely to allow many cheap ones this Reds lineup. Greene will need to work deep into the game and keep it close. If not, this one will not belong to the Reds.