Let's begin with Friday night. Right after work, TBS serves up Roy Oswalt vs. Bronson Arroyo in Game 2 of the NLDS between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Cincinnati Reds. As much as the Reds were embarrassed by the dominance of Roy Halladay, they still are only down 1-0. If they are able to bounce back against Oswalt, all the momentum would swing back in their favor.
On the other hand, Bronson Arroyo is 1-5 with a 5.45 ERA against the Phils. Another short outing would effectively doom the Reds. Their bullpen is taxed from Wednesday night's game. Edinson Volquez was only able to muster 1 2/3 IP.
Conversely, Roy Oswalt is 23-3 with a 2.81 ERA in 32 career starts against the Reds. Even more impressive is his ERA at Citizens Bank Park, 9-0 with a 2.10 ERA. Doesn't look promising for the Red Stockings.
At around 10:00pm on TBS, The Atlanta Braves face off against the San Francisco Giants. Two underrated starters take the hill tonight, both riding hot streaks. Matt Cain went 7-2 in his last 10 starts with a solid 3.23 ERA. Tommy Hanson was even harder to score of off, netting a 2.62 ERA in his last 10 outings.
Baseball playoffs are really all about who is hot. However good the team has been throughout the season has little bearing on success. The Yankees won last year because their players caught fire. Alex Rodriguez finally stopped being a bitch and hit for once. Their pitchers were in a good groove. They won.
Look back at the Rockies in '07 and the Tigers in '06. They stormed through the playoffs and locked up a World Series bid way before their counterparts. It ended up being costly because it cooled their hot streak. Players became rusty after not playing for a week.
Loot at the Texas Rangers v. Tampa Bay Rays series. The last month of the season, the Texas Rangers played bad baseball. Everyone thought they were in trouble. They had the division lead by 8 games and began to let off the gas pedal. With a week to go, they really turned it on and went 8-2. Every other AL playoff team had a losing record. Presto, up 2-0 and looking to close the series out in Arlington.
Saturday morning, wake up watch some College Gameday starting at 10:00am on ESPN.
At 12:00 the college football begins. Something about seeing all those games on TV is fun. The NFL gives you quality but the NCAA gives you serious quantity. I can appreciate that.
12:00 the networks pit a good team against a comparatively terrible team. The outcome is almost certain. That's why I can't recommend any of these games specifically. Just turn on one and let the football wash over you.
At 3:30 it gets more enjoyable. Michigan - Michigan St. on either ABC or ESPN will be good. Any chance to watch Denard "Shoelace" Robinson smoke people is great.
Flip over to CBS as well, where Spurrier's South Carolina Gamecocks will take on the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide at 3:30 pm. This could be a possible upset, coming off an emotional win for the Tide. First tough road game for the defending national champions.
Don't forget that the ALDS is on TBS. You don't normally go to TBS for sports. Tampa plays in Texas at 5:07pm. The Yankees face off against the Twins next, with the first coverage starting at 8:37 pm.
Florida State v. Miami used to be a can't miss game. This year just keep it on in the background on ABC at 8:00pm.
The NFL is mostly regional. So pick your game at 1:00pm on either CBS or FOX and enjoy. The NFL is great television and America agrees. Never before has it achieved such impressive ratings.
TBS starts its MLB Postseason coverage at 12:30, if you're in the mood to watch baseball. The games aren't necessary so the listings are TBA. Baseball should be on virtually all day, assuming every series doesn't end as a sweep (which is still, as of 1:00pm today, possible). You're guaranteed to get the Braves-Giants Game 3 at 4:30pm.
Tune in to Sunday Night Football and watch a terrible San Francisco 49ers team host a banged-up Philadelphia Eagles. DeSean Jackson is always fun to watch but has been unable to catch anything with Kolb at the helm. The 49ers need a win to hopefully right a sinking season.
Watch as much as you can this weekend and enjoy. Check back on my column Monday for a recap.
By Erik Lambertsen