Reds starter Hunter Greene cannot continue to struggle against lesser competition

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Hunter Greene.
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Hunter Greene. / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

It was another short day for Cincinnati Reds starter Hunter Greene. While he at least made it out of the four inning on Friday, there was activity in the Reds bullpen as early as the second inning.

In his two starts, Greene has pitched at total of eight innings and logged 176 total pitches. He's posted 13 strikeouts, but also six total walks. Greene's inefficiency has been a problem, and it has led to an early exit in both starts this season.

I don't want to sound like a broken record, but the Reds top three pitchers have got to make it deep into ball games. Getting through the fifth inning is the minimum, though going six or seven inning certainly would not be frowned.

Extended at-bats are limiting Reds RHP Hunter Greene's effectiveness.

Hunter Greene was not the losing pitcher on Friday. That honor fell to Derek Law who allowed a two-run home run to J.T. Realmuto after Greene had already exited. There's no way to lay Friday's loss at Greene's feet entirely, but getting bogged down by the bottom of the Philadelphia Phillies batting order is something that can't happen.

Reds fans saw this on Opening Day when Greene was lifted after walking the No. 9 hitter in the Pittsburgh Pirates lineup, Austin Hedges. That out two runners on with only one out and manager David Bell lifted Greene in favor of Fernando Cruz. That did not end well.

On Friday, Greene allowed a leadoff double to former Res outfielder Nick Castellanos, but secured the next two outs with the bottom of the Phillies order due up. Greene then issued three consecutive walks to Jake Cave, Cody Clemens, and Brandon Marsh. Marsh's free pass allowed Castellanos to cross home plate and give the Phillies a 1-0 lead.

To make matters worse, Greene was ahead to Cave 0-2 and could have gotten out of the inning without allowing any damage or drastically inflating his pitch count. The former first-round pick has more than enough talent to blow away a player like Cave.

If the Cincinnati Reds are going to be competitive at all this season, the trio of Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, and Graham Ashcraft have to pitch up to their potential. We've seen flashes from Greene this season, but the flamethrower needs to carry that intensity and focus into each inning.

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