HOUSTON — The bad news for the White Sox? Only 12% of major league teams that have fallen into 0-2 holes have gone on to win best-of-five series.
The good news? So far, there is no good news.
But manager Tony La Russa had something on his 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 team had just fallen behind the Yankees three games to none — a seemingly hopeless scenario for a franchise that was facing 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 then. “We show up tomorrow and our only objective, 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 get 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 get past the Astros this week.
“When he said that, that’s a good thing to say,” La Russa said. “It makes sense. They went and won four. So we’ve got to win. [Game 3] is a must win.”
They’re all musts for the up-against-it Sox from here. And here’s what’s happening:
Falcons vs. Jets (8:30 a.m., NFL)
England gave us the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. The least we can do is bestow upon our friends across the pond the 1-3 Falcons and the 1-3 Jets. They rock and roll at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
Packers at Bengals (noon, Fox-32)
A pair of 3-1 division leaders go at it, but do the Bengals really have a shot? Their resume — which includes skin-of-their-teeth home wins against the Vikings and Jaguars and a loss to the Bears — isn’t much to look at.
Sky at Mercury, Game 1 (2:30 p.m., Ch. 7)
So, who’s the Finals underdog? The sixth-seeded Sky have never won a title. The fifth-seeded Mercury last won it all in 2014 — beating the Sky — and they enter this series all banged up. Doesn’t make Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi any less scary, though.
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: not letting his team lose by 20 points for a third straight time on the road.
Astros at White Sox, Game 3 (7 p.m., FS1)
What a nightmare that trip to Houston was. Almost ironic, isn’t it, that the Sox are going to do everything in their power just to go back there?
Bills at Chiefs (7:20 p.m., Ch. 5)
At least have the decency to wait until the Sox trail by five runs again before you flip over to this rematch of last season’s AFC Championship Game.
Astros at White Sox, Game 4, if necessary (2:30 p.m., FS1)
It’s never ideal to be in “if necessary” territory, but hope and excitement will be pinballing throughout Guaranteed Rate Field if the Sox are still alive.
Giants at Dodgers, Game 3 (8:30 p.m., TBS)
An up-and-comer by the name of Kris Bryant homered in the Giants’ Game 1 win, which was kind of cool. Holding off the 106-win Dodgers for a division title and then knocking them off in the playoffs would be all-time-great stuff.
Penguins at Lightning (6:30 p.m., ESPN)
It’s banner time at Amalie Arena, a heck of a way to drop the puck for an NHL season. Hockey, folks — it’s back.
Kraken at Golden Knights (9 p.m., ESPN)
Release the … never mind, that joke has been made a million times by now. It’s Game 1 for Seattle’s franchise, and that’s all kinds of special.
Sky at Mercury, Game 2 (8 p.m., ESPN)
Watch Courtney Vandersloot drop dimes. Watch Kahleah Copper finish on the break. Watch Allie Quigley hunt threes. This isn’t just the Candace Parker show.
Blackhawks at Avalanche (9 p.m., TNT)
It’s here — the season opener. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has seen it all, but did he really need to debut with the Hawks against the team that led the league in scoring last season?
Grizzlies at Bulls (7 p.m., NBCSCH+)
It’s merely the preseason finale, but we won’t complain if the Bulls blow another opponent out of the gym.
Mercury at Sky, Game 3 (8 p.m., ESPN2)
A bunch of Bulls might be in attendance at Wintrust Arena. Chance The Rapper, too. How about the Chicago media?
Rutgers at Northwestern (noon, TBD)
The Wildcats — 2-3 — have rallied from disappointing starts before under Pat Fitzgerald. Greg Schiano’s Scarlet Knights aren’t the only ones who can chop some wood.
Blackhawks at Penguins (6 p.m., NHL, NBCSCH)
Fleury spent 13 seasons in Pittsburgh and even won his third Stanley Cup there in 2017. Then the Pens let him go. Motivation meter: still on tilt.