Bryan Cranston vs. Jon Hamm and other Dodgers-Cardinals NLDS matchups to watch
Comparing postseason teams based on WAR and UZR is fun, but so is comparing them based on TV drama leading men. Let's take a look at the NL Division Series: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Pop Culture Moment
You could argue that nobody in pop culture has had a bigger year than Bryan Cranston. The dude took home a third consecutive Emmy for his portrayal of Walter White in arguably the greatest television drama in the history of the business, Breaking Bad.
Then, he made an appearance at Dodger Stadium and signed a baseball for Dodgers reliever Brian Wilson ... AND HE SIGNED IT "WALTER WHITE"! Seriously, what wouldn't you do for a piece of memorabilia like that?
No one knows the power of the McConaissance better than Cardinals catcher Tony Cruz. With Yadier Molina on the shelf for much of the 2014 season, Cruz found himself in a more prominent role than anyone anticipated ... and selected a walk-up song to match.
Throughout the season, Cruz approached the plate to the rhythmic chanting of Matthew McConaughey from the instantly-iconic scene in The Wolf of Wall Street:
The Dodgers simply don't go to the postseason without Alyssa Milano making an appearance. She turned her love of fashion and Dodger blue into an apparel empire and still had the time to wish Tommy Lasorda a happy 87th birthday.
Of course, the Cardinals have a Hollywood supporter of their own. Jon Hamm is such a huge Cards fan that St. Louis gave away a bobblehead of his likeness this year:
Ladies and gentleman, Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Chrissy Teigen:
The best part about Bob Costas' first pitch for the Cardinals was the second pitch he threw for the Cardinals:
The classic Dodger Dog was only the beginning in Chavez Ravine. Now there's the Doyer Dog. And the Cuban Dog. And the Cheesesteak Dog. And literally anything from Extreme Loaded Dogs:
But the St. Louis Dog at Busch Stadium features a quarter-pound frank in a massive bun topped with Provel, Red-Hot Riplets and barbecue sauce, all sitting on a bed of Miss Vickie's Salt & Vinegar Chips. Sign us right the heck up:
Throwback Postseason Moment
This is an easy category for the Dodgers: Kirk. Gibson.
But how can you out-do the heroics of David Freese in 2011? The Cardinals third baseman -- who grew up in the St. Louis area -- came to the dish in Game 6 of the '11 World Series with two men on and two outs in the ninth inning. The Rangers were one pitch away from a title, and then this happened:
Of course, Freese wasn't done. Cue the bottom of the 11th:
SPOILER ALERT: The Cards won Game 7 and Freese was named World Series MVP.
This was Clayton Kershaw's season and everyone else was just playing in it. On June 18, Kershaw threw his first career no-hitter, striking out 15 Rockies in the process. It was the second-highest nine-inning game score in the history of baseball. Is that even good, though?
The weird thing about the Cardinals is that they're always good. And they never seem to do it with homers or flashy defense or stolen bases. Like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, they just find a way. So, the two highlights that define the 2014 Cards are an odd 5-8 putout, because why not:
And a triple play that got them out of a bases-loaded jam back in June because OF COURSE it did:
Somehow we've made it through this entire post without a single mention of Yasiel Puig. He's the only six tool player in Major League Baseball and his spidey-sense is the Dodgers' x-factor. Behold: The Bat Flip:
As for the Cardinals, they're playing for St. Louis, but they're also playing for 'Merica: