Josh Wall did not have a good night on Monday, as he allowed seven runs in two innings of relief in the Dodgers' 12-2 loss to the Rockies. Wall though was put in a tough situation, one that unfortunately could lead to his removal from the roster.
Wall entered the game after Ted Lilly only lasted three innings, and the Dodgers were already down 5-0.
"I can't say he looked good, but Josh really sucked it up for us. He threw close to 40 pitches that first inning, and to go that second inning basically saved the pen," said manager Don Mattingly. "We should have everybody available the way we were able to do it the rest of the way. That game could have not only blown up tonight but hurts you over the next couple of days. We were able to survive not having to use Kenley or Beli or Brandon for that game."
Wall threw a whopping 62 pitches in his two innings of work, and he knew his role.
"In my mind, if I could save someone from having to throw down in the bullpen that was my job, but I wasn't good at all," said Wall. "That's basically all it was. I wasn't good."
It is a far cry from spring training, when Wall, 25, was arguably the most effective relief pitcher in Dodgers camp for most of the spring. But Wall said he hasn't figured out what specifically, if anything, is the difference between now and then.
"I'm just off right now. It's the best way I can describe it," Wall said.
Though Wall allowed eight hits and two walks in his two frames, and even though he has allowed 14 runs in seven innings this season, Mattingly was impressed with the right-hander.
"He took a beating, that's for sure. But it's the position he's in right now. Obviously he got hit a little bit. But there is something to taking that ball again that next inning," Mattingly said. "He could have very easily said he couldn't go again. That told me a lot."
In the fifth inning, catcher A.J. Ellis noticed something off in Wall's delivery, which caused a conference on the mound with Wall, Mattingly, and team trainers. Wall said he was "fine" after the game, and both Mattingly and the trainers agreed, letting Wall finish off the inning.
"We in a sense sacrificed him a little bit, but I can't do that from the standpoint of allowing him to pitch injured. I could never do that, I don't feel good about that," said Mattingly. "Once A.J. said that, I had to make sure (Wall's) not feeling pain by throwing a baseball."
Wall's two innings, and Skip Schumaker's one inning in the ninth, allowed the Dodgers to save their top three relievers, Ronald Belisario, Kenley Jansen, and Brandon League, while four others pitched one inning each. But with 62 pitches thrown Monday, Wall is likely done until the weekend and the Dodgers might need some bullpen reinforcements.
In Albuquerque on Monday night, Chris Withrow threw 30 pitches in relief so he is likely not an option to be recalled if needed even though he is on the 40-man roster. Peter Moylan, who currently isn't on the 40-man roster but could easily be added, threw 17 pitches on Monday night. The other two Isotopes pitchers on the 40-man roster are Javy Guerra, who threw 85 pitches on Friday, and Steven Ames, who threw 11 pitches on Saturday.
But the Dodgers still haven't decided whether or not they need to make a roster move just yet.
"That's all up in the air right now," Mattingly said.