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Playoff Thread: Sunday's Games

If you have the day off and you're a sports fan, just put on FOX.

1:00 PM EDT: Giants v. Cowboys
4:00 PM EDT: Cardinals v. Astros
7:30 PM EDT: White Sox v. Angels

Doesn't get any better than this. And considering all the great college football action from yesterday, it's been a real good weekend.

Game 4, NLCS: Brandon Backe takes on Jeff Suppan, as the Cards look to take at least one game on the road and then take it back to the Sea of Red for a couple more games. Backe's claim to fame was his unseen performance in Game 5 of last year's NLCS, the stuff that national names are made of. But on that day, the Astros were not watched. The Yankee-Red Sox Game 5 marathon lasted 5 hours and 49 minutes and cut into most of the Astros-Cards game. That one lasted only 2:33.

Suppan posted a 2.82 ERA in his last 3 months. The Cards are the favorites in this one, and it's a must-win type game. Beating Pettitte, Clemens, and Oswalt 2/3 is hard enough, but a loss today means that they'll have to sweep them. I doubt it.

Game 5, ALCS: Contreras and Byrd reprise their Game 1 matchup, as Jose Contreras lives with the shame of being the only White Sox pitcher to need to be bailed out by the bullpen. Byrd pitched a beauty in Game 1, but we're really seeing the problem of not having Colon, at this point.

Pitching or not, the problem for the Angels is that they're simply not hitting. In the first four games of this series, they've posted a .177/.197/.274 line. That's with only 2 walks. The White Sox pitching is good, but the root of these last 3 performances is not that the White Sox have the best rotation this side of the '95 Braves. It's that the Angels are completely terrible at the plate right now.

The Sox are the favorite in this game, and I can't think of a reason that they wouldn't be.