Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Garlic fries vs. tater tot nachos and other very important NL Wild Card matchups to watch

Comparing postseason teams based on WAR and UZR is fun, but so is comparing them based on the potency of their ballpark garlic fries. Let's take a look at the NL Wild Card Game: San Francisco Giants vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Pop Culture moment

When it comes to pop culture, the Giants-Pirates Wild Card matchup is all about doppelgangers.

San Francisco has two celebrity look-alikes on their roster. First, as a pair of Cubs announcers discovered earlier this season, center fielder Angel Pagan (who will unfortunately miss the postseason) looks a bit like comedian Russell Brand:

paganbrand.gif

And, of course, Tim Lincecum looks exactly like Cameron Frye from Ferris Bueller's Day Off:

timcameron.gif

Not to be outdone, Pirates rookie pitcher John Holdzkom looks exactly like a 6-foot-7 spawn of Seth Meyers and Jerry Seinfeld. Even Meyers says so:

Superfan

We have no idea why, but AT&T Park has attacted a disconcerting number of horse people this season. Some even partook in the occasional adult beverage:

horsefans.gif

The Pirates, on the other hand, just have a casual neon-light-bowling-pin juggling fella named BURGH MAN:

burghman.gif

Memorable first pitch

Bat. Kid. It was the most heart-warming story of the millennium, and a few months after Miles Scott saved the city of San Fransico and conquered the hearts of Americans everywhere, he threw out a stellar first pitch at AT&T Park.

But not only did former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson throw a strike for his first pitch at PNC Park back in April, he also mimed biting off Tony Sanchez's ear. Good ol' Iron Mike, reminiscing about one of his most terrifying moments. 

tysonfirstpitch.gif

Food

From garlic fries to fish tacos to Crazy Crab, AT&T Park has embraced its eclectic hometown cuisine. And if you're hankering out of town, you can even try to make your own version of Gilroy's Garlic Fries at home. 

In great uses of portmanteau, PNC Park boasts "tatchos" -- tater tot nachos, for the uninitiated. But there's also something called "The Closer" and, well, we'll let this speak for itself:

Throwback postseason performance 

The Giants have had two memorable recent World Series runs, but before San Francisco, there was New York. And in New York there was The Catch.

When your club's history incldues Willie Mays, there are a seemingly infinite number of postseason highlights. But The Catch is The Catch for a reason. 

The Pirates, however, can claim a home run that made Mickey Mantle cry. How many teams can say that? Bill Mazeroski's game-winner in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 7 of the 1960 World Series is the walk-off of all walk-offs. 

Most definitive 2014 highlight 

For a team that's been defined by its pitching in recent years, it was strangely fitting that the Giants' best hurler in 2014 was also known for his work at the plate. Sure, Madison Bumgarner's 18 wins and 2.98 ERA were nice, but it was his four home runs -- the most by a pitcher since 2010 -- that stood out most. Among those were two grand slams:

Bumgarner

Bumgarner 2

And, more importantly, his post-trot snot rocket: 

Bumgarner snot

Despite a 6 percent chance of reaching the postseason on May 5th, the Pirates never stopped battling in 2014. That resilience was best exemplified by Josh Harrison, who went from useful utility player to key lineup cog in within one year. Witness the All-Star third baseman/right fielder/left fielder/second baseman/shortstop

Harrison

Even when he won the team's Heart and Hustle Award, Harrison didn't stop

Harrison

X-factor

Hunter Pence is the Giants' good luck head-drummer, inspirational speech-giver, and, well, a whole host of other weird things which may or may not be true. 

pencehead.gif

Pittsburgh's answer? Andrew McCutchen -- or more specifically, McCutchen's 100-year-old biggest fan. Come on, you wouldn't want to disappoint her, would you? 

cutchfan.gif