White Sox, Sky, Blackhawks: this you gotta see

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HOUSTON – Bad news for the White Sox? Only 12% of major league teams that fell into 0-2 holes won the best-of-five playoffs.

The good news? So far there is no good news.

But manager Tony La Russa had something in mind Friday after a 9-4 loss to the Astros, and it was a comment he heard then Red Sox manager Terry Francona make in 2004. Francona’s side had just fallen behind the Yankees three games against none – a seemingly hopeless scenario for a franchise that faced its tormentors and hadn’t won a World Series in 88 years.

“Well I think we have to try to keep it simple,” Francona said. “We show up tomorrow and our only goal, our only goal, is to win tomorrow. … And then we’ll go from there.

La Russa was in Houston with the Cardinals, who would beat the Astros – then a National League club – in a Game 7 on the road to the World Series. There they would lose to a Red Sox team that never gave up.

The White Sox will need a three-game rally to overtake the Astros this week.

“When he said that, it’s a good thing to say,” La Russa said. “It makes sense. They went there and won four. So we have to win. [Game 3] is an inescapable victory.

These are all must-haves for the Sox here. And here’s what happens:

SUN 10

Falcons vs Jets (8:30 a.m., NFL)

England gave us the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. The least we can do is give our overseas friends the 1-3 Falcons and the 1-3 Jets. They rock and roll at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

Packers at Bengals (midi, Fox-32)

A pair of 3-1 Division Chiefs are tackling it, but do the Bengals really stand a chance? Their resume – which includes home wins over the Vikings and Jaguars and one loss to the Bears – isn’t much to look at.

Griner and Taurasi are still a deadly duo.
Photo by Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Sky at Mercury, Game 1 (2:30 p.m., Ch. 7)

So who is the underdog in the final? The sixth seed Sky has never won a title. The fifth-seeded Mercury last won it all in 2014 – beating the Sky – and they come into the series all smashed. That doesn’t make Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi any less scary, however.

Bears at Raiders (3 p.m., ch. 2)

Have you heard the news that Justin Fields is now the Bears’ QB1 for real? Job 1: do not let your team lose 20 points for a third consecutive time on the road.

Astros at the White Sox, Game 3 (7 p.m., FS1)

What a nightmare this trip to Houston was. Almost ironic, isn’t it, that the Sox will do anything to get back there?

Bills at Chiefs (7:20 p.m., Ch. 5)

At least have the decency to wait until the Sox track by five points again before moving on to that rematch of last season’s AFC Championship game.

MON 11

Astros at the White Sox, Game 4, if necessary (2:30 p.m., FS1)

It is never ideal to be in “when needed” territory, but hope and excitement will be evident throughout the guaranteed rate business if the Sox are still alive.

Giants at Dodgers Game 3 (8:30 p.m. TBS)

A promising player by the name of Kris Bryant took the Giants victory in Game 1, which was pretty cool. Holding the Dodgers to 106 division title wins and then knocking them out in the playoffs would be a great thing all time.

TUE 12

Lightning Penguins (6:30 p.m., ESPN)

It’s banner time at Amalie Arena, one hell of a way to drop the puck for a season in the NHL. Hockey, gentlemen, it’s back.

Seattle Kraken vs. Calgary Flames

It’s time to get Kraken.
Photo by Derek Leung / Getty Images

Kraken at the Golden Knights (9 p.m., ESPN)

Release it… whatever, this joke has been made a million times already. It’s the Seattle franchise’s first game, and it’s very special.

WED 13

Sky at Mercury, Game 2 (8 p.m., ESPN)

Watch Courtney Vandersloot drop dimes. Watch Kahleah Copper finish at the break. Watch Allie Quigley hunt with a threesome. It’s not just the Candace Parker show.

Blackhawks at Avalanche (9 p.m., TNT)

It’s here – the season opener. Goalkeeper Marc-André Fleury has seen it all, but did he really need to make his Hawks debut against the team that led the league in scoring last season?

FRI 15

Grizzlies at Bulls (7 p.m., NBCSCH +)

It’s simply the preseason finale, but we won’t complain if the Bulls knock another opponent out of the gym.

Mercury at Sky, Game 3 (8 p.m., ESPN2)

A group of Bulls could be present at Wintrust Arena. Chance The Rapper too. What about the Chicago media?

SAT 16

Rutgers at Northwestern (noon, TBD)

The Wildcats – 2-3 – have rallied to disappointing starts previously under Pat Fitzgerald. Greg Schiano’s Scarlet Knights aren’t the only ones who can chop wood.

Blackhawks vs. Penguins (6 p.m., NHL, NBCSCH)

Fleury spent 13 seasons in Pittsburgh and even won his third Stanley Cup in 2017. Then the Pens let him go. Motivation counter: always tilted.

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