Vazquez details bizarre experience of facing Red Sox right after trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
At least the Boston Red Sox made Christian Vazquez’s exit convenient.
Shortly after landing in Houston on Monday night, the Red Sox traded their longest-tenured player to the Astros, who they were preparing to face in a three-game series. That meant Vazquez simply had to switch clubhouses at Minute Maid Park to join his new team.
It also meant Vazquez had to play his first game in an Astros uniform against the organization he joined in 2008 and had played with at the major-league level since 2014. After a pinch-hit appearance Tuesday night, Vazquez made his first start at catcher for Houston on Wednesday against Boston.
Tomase: Red Sox in dreaded no man’s land after uninspiring trade deadline
“It was so weird to face my ex-teammates,” Vazquez told WEEI’s Rob Bradford after the Astros’ 6-1 win. “I was guessing when I was hitting.
“… I’m catching everybody (on the Red Sox) for a long time and I know everybody and what they’re going to throw. I was guessing if they were going to be the same or change the plan. It was so weird.”
Vazquez had an advantage behind the plate, though. He relied on his intimate knowledge of his former teammates to call pitches that exploited their weaknesses — like high fastballs to Rafael Devers, who went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
“It was fun to strike out Carita (Devers) three times,” Vazquez said. “I love you Carita, but…I told him it was going to be fastballs up. He knew that. But it was fun. It was very fun.”
Starting pitcher Jose Urquidy dominated the Red Sox, allowing just two hits with 10 strikeouts over seven shutout innings as the Astros improved to 68-38. Boston, meanwhile, dropped to 53-53 in last place in the American League East.
Still, many Red Sox players entered the MLB trade deadline believing they had a legitimate chance to compete in the postseason — Vazquez among them.
“I thought we had a chance this year,” Vazquez said. ” … We had a two-game winning streak and I thought they were going to stay with the same team, get some pieces and we were going to be in the playoffs. But now we’re here. Let’s win the World Series here.”
Boston technically “added” by trading for outfielder Tommy Pham and first baseman Eric Hosmer, who will be a significant defensive upgrade at the team’s worst position in that department.
But it also traded away one of its core members, which doesn’t exactly signal buy-in for a playoff push.