Detroit — Nick Castellanos had his head down and he was just finishing re-settling himself in the batter’s box. Which is why he was utterly startled to see the pitch from Hector Neris cross the plate.
He went from startled to furious when home plate umpire Brian Gorman rung up strike three.
“That’s the first time I’ve been quick-pitched, probably since A-ball,” Castellanos said. “It is what it is. I was frustrated that it happened, you know? It’s been attempted but it’s always been stopped. Usually, they give the hitter that courtesy. But, just learn, move on.”
It was a key point in the game. The Tigers had cut the Phillies lead to 7-5 and Castellanos was up with two on and two out.
“It’s not a secret why I’m frustrated,” he said. “But I guess you can’t do anything about it now.”
Castellanos asked for an explanation from Gorman.
“Yeah, he told me I was in the batter’s box,” Castellanos said.
The Tigers pitchers all series long waited patiently while Phillies leadoff hitter Odubel Herrera took between 20 and 40 seconds between pitches, often while still in the batter’s box.
Earlier in the game, Gorman refused to grant timeout to Mike Aviles on a 3-1 pitch, even after Aviles backed out of the box.
So when Gorman granted a late timeout to Peter Bourjos in the eighth inning — both Castellanos and Aviles complained bitterly from their positions in the field.
The Tigers made three errors Wednesday, as well as two other regrettable plays in the running game.
They allowed the not-so-fleet-of-foot Tommy Joseph to execute a delayed steal in the third inning. It was his first stolen base of the year.
In the second inning, they allowed Andres Blanco to steal home.
The Phillies had runners on first and third with two outs. The runner on first, Bourjos, broke for second with Blanco edging off third. Catcher James McCann’s throw to second was high, which allowed Blanco to score easily.
“We wanted the throw to come back home,” acting manager Gene Lamont said. “The throw was high and wide and it took the shortstop (Jose Iglesias) out of control. He couldn’t set himself to throw home.”
Typically, McCann’s throw would be taken in front of second base to allow time for a return throw. Iglesias seemed to get to the bag late and then had to make an athletic play just to catch the ball.
The Tigers rotation for the series in Oakland is still a little up in the air.
Michael Fulmer is expected to start on Friday and Lamont said Mike Pelfrey would go on Sunday.
In between, though, is Jordan Zimmermann’s spot in the rotation. He is fighting through a groin strain and won’t make the start. He is scheduled to throw on Friday and the club will determine by Sunday whether he will need to go on the disabled list.
The Tigers hadn’t as of Wednesday night recalled anybody from Toledo. There was some rumbling in Toledo that left-hander Matt Boyd was being recalled, but Lamont nixed the talk.
“I would be very surprised if Boyd is on the plane with us tomorrow,” he said.
Around the horn
For the second straight game, the Tigers played without starters Ian Kinsler (ill) and Justin Upton (quad).
“With the off day (Thursday) we just think it best that he and Justin take the extra day,” Lamont said. “I am sure they will be ready on Friday.”
... Cameron Maybin banged out two more hits while his average dipped to .545. But it's clear his throwing arm still isn't right. Freddy Galvis was able to tag and score easily from third on a fly ball to very shallow center. Maybin's stint on the DL was extended because of a shoulder subluxation. "His shoulder isn't 100 percent," Lamont said. "Some things you have to live with. Right now if his arm's not quite 100 percent, we're willing to live with that."