AL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES : California vs. Boston : AL Playoff Notebook

Among all the adjectives that were unearthed to describe Boston's 7-6 victory in Game 5 Sunday, eerie should have ranked foremost.

Exhibit A: The Red Sox rallied from a three-run deficit in the ninth inning, and the comeback was aided greatly when Gedman was hit by a pitch. The previous night, the Angels had rallied from a three-run deficit in the ninth inning, and the comeback was triggered when Brian Downing was hit by a pitch.

Exhibit B: Gary Lucas, the man who hit Gedman with the critical pitch, was acquired by the Angels in an off-season trade with Montreal.

The player he was traded for?

Luis Sanchez, the man who gave up Cecil Cooper's game-winning single in Game 5 of the 1982 AL playoffs against Milwaukee.

Memo to second-guessers: When Manager Gene Mauch removed starter Mike Witt and replaced him with Lucas, the Angels' lead was 5-4 and Mauch's rationale was Lucas' track record against the next batter, Gedman. Lucas and Gedman are both left-handed, and in two previous meetings, Lucas had struck him out twice.

Witt, meanwhile, had yielded a home run, a double and a single in eight previous innings against Gedman.

What about pitching around Gedman?

If Witt had intentionally walked him, or surrendered anything less than a home run, the next hitter was Dave Henderson. Both Witt and Henderson are right-handed.

This year, Henderson is 1 for 4 with a double and a strikeout against Witt.

Staff writer Mike Penner contributed to this story.

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