Hunter Greene and Reds allow no hits on loss

The Cincinnati Reds accomplished a rarity in baseball on Sunday by losing despite not conceding a hit. Hunter Greene, a rookie right-ha...


The Cincinnati Reds accomplished a rarity in baseball on Sunday by losing despite not conceding a hit.

Hunter Greene, a rookie right-hander, had struck out nine through seven innings without allowing a hit. His counterpart, Pirates veteran left-hander José Quintana, nearly matched him, allowing just three hits and one walk in seven innings before handing the game to the Pittsburgh bullpen.

Although Greene’s pitch count exceeded 100, Reds manager David Bell allowed him to start the bottom of the eighth inning in pursuit of a no-hitter in Pittsburgh. Greene caused a groundout, but then gave Rodolfo Castro and Michael Perez walks. After seven and a third innings, five walks and 118 pitches, Greene was finally retired.

Right-hander Art Warren walked another batter to load the bases, and Ke’Bryan Hayes relied on the defensive picks to drive in the only run of the game and give Greene a bad luck loss. It was only the sixth time in the modern era of baseball that a team had lost without giving up a hit, and the first time since 2008.

“It would have been nice to have a different result, but that’s the way it is,” Greene told reporters after the game.

He also said he got tired as the match dragged on.

“But again, there’s the mental part of, you know, ‘I’m fine. I’m not tired,” he said.

Unfortunately for Greene, Warren and the Reds, Sunday’s feat will not be recorded as a no-hitter. In 1991, Major League Baseball changed the definition of a no-hitter, requiring a team to go at least nine innings in a complete game, erasing each of the no-hitter losses, as well as several that were shortened by the rain. Under the same rule, a Madison Bumgarner departure in 2021, in which he allowed no hits in an all-game winwas not recorded as a no-hitter as he came in a seven-inning game under MLB’s double-header rules that season.

Sunday’s loss was the latest for Cincinnati (9-26), which is more than 10 games shy of first place at National League Central. The Reds’ 3-19 start with minus-65 differential was worse than the 2003 Tigers, which finished with 119 losses, and the 1962 Mets, which lost 120, although they have been more competitive lately with six wins in their last 10 games.

Still, the outing was to be encouraging for the Reds and Greene, who had a 7.62 ERA and allowed 11 homers in 26 innings going into Sunday’s game. But that will surely come with some criticism, as the total of 118 pitches is the most a pitcher has been allowed to pitch this season, in stark contrast to how other teams have handled pitchers. The Dodgers, in particular, fired Clayton Kershaw after seven perfect rounds because the veteran southpaw threw 80 pitches on a cold afternoon in Minnesota and they had plans for a long playoff run.

Bell said there was a chance he would have allowed Greene back for the ninth if he hadn’t gotten in trouble.

“Looking at it now, I think it should have been really easy for him to come back out there for the ninth,” Bell said. “But I think there was a chance he could have done it.”

The Reds selected Greene with the second overall pick in the 2017 draft, one spot behind Royce Lewis, the shortstop who made his debut for the Twins this month. With a fastball that can hit triple digits and strong hitting skills at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Calif., Greene graced the cover of an issue of Sports Illustrated, billed as “the star baseball needs.” . He had evaluators thinking he might be a two-way player as a professional.

Greene hit a few in the low minors but ended up giving it up, avoiding the paths taken by Shohei Ohtani and Michael Lorenzen. After undergoing surgery at Tommy John in 2019 and the cancellation of the 2020 minor league season due to the pandemic, Greene had a 3.30 ERA in the AA and AAA classes last year. And he ranks among the top 25 prospects, according to MLB.com.

After a record year for no hits in 2021there have been two official ones this season, a combined effort by Mets staff and a two-strikeout outing by Angels rookie left-hander Reid Detmers in a Tampa Bay Rays blowout.



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