Nyjer Morgan usually has been as loquacious off the field as much as a solid contributor on it since joining the Milwaukee Brewers last year.
While "T-Plush" has been silent thus far due to a slow start, he has the chance to build off a winning play Thursday afternoon when the Brewers try to complete a three-game home sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Morgan was a vital cog in helping Milwaukee (6-6) win the NL Central and reach the league championship series last year, batting .304 and seamlessly fitting into a loose clubhouse after uneven stints with both Pittsburgh and Washington.
This year, Morgan has struggled out of the gate, going 4 for 32 with eight strikeouts. He entered Wednesday's game as a pinch-runner in the 10th and had a huge steal of second base before barely scoring on a shallow sacrifice fly by Ryan Braun - running through third base coach Ed Sedar's stop sign - on a controversial call at the plate as the Brewers posted a 3-2 victory for their second walkoff win this season.
Morgan declined to speak to reporters after the game, but teammate Zack Greinke supported the speedy center fielder's aggressive play.
"I thought he should have tagged," said Greinke, who pitched seven solid innings. "You've got to make a good throw, and Nyjer's fast. I thought it was worth the risk."
Morgan is hardly a risk against Dodgers scheduled starter Aaron Harang (0-1, 5.91 ERA), going 6 for 13 with two doubles lifetime against the right-hander.
Harang (0-1, 5.91) pitched well enough to win his last start versus San Diego and was lights out at one point by setting a team record with nine consecutive strikeouts - one off the major league record - en route to matching his career high with 13. He then watched his bullpen blow a four-run lead before Los Angeles came away with a 9-8 walkoff win.
"You kind of get in that zone and you kind of become oblivious to everything around you, what's going on. It's hard to explain," said Harang, who has 19 strikeouts overall.
Losing manager Don Mattingly called Wednesday's winning run "another argument for instant replay," but the Dodgers (9-3) must regroup to try avoiding their first road sweep in any series by Milwaukee since the Brewers joined the NL in 1998.
Former Dodger Randy Wolf (0-1, 10.61) has struggled to get outs in both his starts this season and was roughed up at Atlanta on Friday, when he was tagged for eight runs and nine hits - including a pair of fifth-inning homers - in 4 1-3 innings. The Brewers, though, got him off the hook for a loss before eventually losing 10-8.
"It was definitely the most uncomfortable I've felt in a long time," Wolf said. "I had really ridiculously bad fastball command and my off-speed stuff was horrible."
While Wolf is working fairly well against opponents the first time he goes through a lineup, limiting them to a .235 (4 for 17) average, hitters have made adjustments. In the second and third plate appearances, batters are a combined 14 for 29 (.483) with two homers against him.
The left-hander split his two starts versus the Dodgers last season, but the best of his 12 career starts against them came in the most recent outing. Wolf scattered six hits and five walks over eight innings of a 3-0 victory Aug. 15 to improve to 4-4 lifetime.
Juan Rivera is 7 for 16 with a homer and double lifetime against Wolf, but Matt Kemp is 1 for 10 with seven strikeouts.