CHICAGO — There could come a time when younger Reds beginning pitcher Hunter Greene will have the ability to go the space and full his personal no-hitter. Friday was not that day, however his flirtation with it occurred once more.
For the second time in his massive league profession, Greene saved an opponent hitless as he pitched six innings and tied a profession excessive with 11 strikeouts throughout Cincinnati’s 9-0 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
“It’d be great to go the distance. It’s tough when you strike a lot of guys out. It racks up the pitch count,” stated Greene, who threw 110 pitches. “I’d love to go nine innings with no hits. That’s not the normal. I’m focused on the now.”
The 23-year-old Greene, who additionally notched his first win of 2023, allowed two walks for his solely baserunners on the day. The Cubs put the ball within the air simply 3 times and lifted the ball out of the infield twice — these had been his last two batters within the recreation.
Greene’s fastball was at its finest this afternoon. He threw it 67 instances and it averaged 98.3 mph whereas topping at 100.5 mph. It was his pitch for eight of his strikeouts.
“He had a different gear today,” catcher Curt Casali stated. “It seemed like every time I looked up, it was either 99 or 100. It was hard to catch up to. When he’s in the zone with it, on top of the zone with it, it’s even better.”
The Cubs had 28 foul balls included amongst 67 strikes to forestall any probability of Greene ending the sport.
“It’s great to get 0-2, two foul balls, can I try to finish this guy on the third pitch? That’s what I’m working toward,” Greene stated. “Trying to cut down the pitches.”
Greene’s solely inning with no strikeout was the sixth, when Tucker Barnhart grounded out and Nico Hoerner and Dansby Swanson every flied out.
“His most efficient inning was the sixth. Which was great. To be able to get him through six and you don’t give up any runs, it’s a good start,” Reds supervisor David Bell stated.
It was Greene’s first time working with Casali this season, too.
“We got really familiar in Spring Training together throwing bullpens,” stated Greene, who’s 1-4 with a 4.18 ERA in 11 begins. “I also worked with him in the offseason a few times too. That’s where our relationship began. … He does a great job. He has experience. A lot of positive reinforcement with him. That helps a lot, especially when a guy is still trying to figure the league out early on.”
Rookie reliever Eduardo Salazar saved a mixed no-hitter alive with three groundouts within the seventh inning however gave up his first of two hits on Christopher Morel’s leadoff line-drive single to middle area within the backside of the eighth.
“At the end of the day, a no-hitter would’ve been great,” Casali stated. “Shutouts are awesome. I really take a lot of pride in those. It helps me sleep at night, for sure.”
On May 15, 2022, at Pittsburgh, Greene threw 7 1/3 hitless innings however allowed 5 walks. Art Warren notched the opposite two outs, however not earlier than the Pirates scored a run in a 1-0 loss in eight innings, falling wanting an official no-hitter.
Greene, who signed a six-year, $53 million contract in April, has endured an inconsistent second massive league season.
“I’m early on in my career. I’m giving myself a chance,” Greene stated. “People got to understand through the early stages that there will be growing pains. I’m trying to figure stuff out. We have a young group of players who will be figuring things out. We’re working hard every day, putting pieces together and it’ll pay off really soon.”
The youthful Reds lineup performed an enormous function in supporting Greene, offensively.
Spencer Steer hit an RBI triple off Justin Steele within the first inning and scored on Tyler Stephenson’s RBI single to present Cincinnati a 2-0 lead. Steer completed with three hits and was a homer shy of hitting for the cycle.
Stephenson additionally had three hits and added an RBI single within the fourth inning to present Cincinnati a 6-0 lead. Matt McLain, who debuted within the massive leagues on May 15, added his personal three-hit effort to increase his hitting streak to 5 video games.
The massive lead enabled Greene to remain on the assault within the strike zone.
“It just looked like he had a lot of intent on his pitches today. He wasn’t going to be bullied today,” Casali stated. “Just dare them to hit it. I think it was a positive step for him, for sure.”