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Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Hunter Greene pitches against the Atlanta Braves on April 10.

(John Bazemore/Associated Press)

ATLANTA — Hunter Greene was told not to look up, but he looked up anyway. To the third bridge. Towards the almost exhausted crowd. Until he saw what he was planning since he was just another child.

Greene hasn’t been just another kid most of his life. The spotlight followed him nearly half of his time on Earth. Every pitch studied, every game dissected, every move recorded since his fastball first hit 100 mph at Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks. Landing on the cover of Sports Illustrated, even in 2017, only electrified the hype machine into a sporting frenzy.

And at every stop, at every turn, Greene oozed a fresh confidence. Seemingly never fazed and always ready. So, yes, the 22-year-old pitcher looked up from the mound in Truist Park at 1:50 p.m. Sunday before making his major league debut for the Cincinnati Reds against the Atlanta Braves. He loved the view.

“I looked up as soon as I walked out,” Greene said. “I wanted to take it all in and enjoy it. I felt really comfortable there.

Greene watched it too, not giving up a hit in the first three innings. In the next two, he looked like the second-youngest pitcher in Major League Baseball against the defending World Series champions in his first start, but he didn’t back down. The 6-foot-5 right-hander went five innings, giving up three runs with seven strikeouts on two walks. He threw 92 pitches, 56 for strikes. His fastball hit triple digits 20 times, but he didn’t knock it down.

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