The reigning National League player of the week takes the mound for the Cincinnati Reds as they host the Milwaukee Brewers in the first of a three-game weekend set Friday night.

Hunter Greene (3-7, 5.10 ERA), the 22-year-old starting pitcher who has rediscovered his 100 mph fastball in his last two starts, takes to the mound for the Reds. It will be the 13th start of his rookie season, already his third against the Brewers.

In two starts against the Arizona Diamondbacks and St. Louis Cardinals, Greene overpowered opposing hitters.

Against Arizona, he allowed just one hit over seven scoreless innings and retired the final 20 batters he faced after a leadoff bunt single. He faced the minimum 21 batters in a game that was called after seven innings, giving him the first official complete game of his career.

He struck out eight and walked none for the second straight start to earn the win.

In his last start, in St. Louis, he allowed just two hits and one run over five-plus innings. He left with a 3-0 lead before the bullpen blew the game in the bottom of the ninth. He struck out seven and walked two, giving him 15 strikeouts and two walks over the last two outings. Opposing batters are hitting a meager .079 against the right-hander.

“He’s doing a nice job of adapting as the start goes and adjusting to the hitters as they adjust to him,” Reds manager David Bell said. “He’s pitching. We’ve seen that, really, most of the season now. It continues to be impressive.”

Greene will be looking for revenge against Milwaukee, which beat him twice in one week in early May. On May 5 at Milwaukee, Greene suffered the worst outing of his rookie year when the Brewers slammed five home runs over his 2 1/3 innings, tagging him for eight runs and nine hits in Milwaukee’s 10-5 win.

Five days later in Cincinnati, Greene was better, allowing just one homer among four hits and two runs over 5 1/3 innings. He still took the loss, striking out six but walking four.

The Brewers counter with lefty Eric Lauer (5-2, 3.36), who will be making his 12th start of the season, and first against the Reds.

Lauer is coming off his roughest outing of the season. Last Saturday at Washington, he took an 8-6 loss, allowing eight runs, seven hits, three homers and four walks and committing a balk over five innings.

The eight runs matched his career high for runs allowed. The Brewers are 7-4 in his 11 starts this season; he has posted six quality starts.

Lifetime, Lauer is 1-4 with a 4.25 ERA in eight career games (seven starts) against the Reds, including 0-2 with a 4.20 ERA in three appearances in 2021.

A day after passing Phil Garner for the most managerial wins in club history, Craig Counsell watched Thursday as his team fell for the 12th time in 15 games in a 5-4 loss to the Mets.

“It’s humbling, for sure,” Counsell said of his record-setting 564th Brewers win on Wednesday. “What I told the players was that I feel a lot of gratitude for everything they have contributed to it. It’s been fun to watch. It’s a great era of Brewer baseball players. (The players) go out there and do great things, provide a great product for our fans. It’s not easy. I’m blessed to be a part of it.”

The Brewers head into Cincinnati having dropped four of their first six games on a nine-game road trip.

–Field Level Media