Prior to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, Patrice Bergeron reportedly had a message for his Bruins teammates.
Whatever it was, it worked, as they came out on top to force a Game 7.
How fitting it is that it was Bergeron. He's the longest tenured player of the team, one of the leaders, one of the best two-way forwards in the game, all of it. No one better to get his troops ready for battle in a must-win, elimination game.
You know there'll be another message prior to Game 7 from Bergy.
8 pm, tomorrow night, Boston.
Some New Developments On The David Ortiz Situation, Including That He's Resting Comfortably In Boston
Yesterday when I wrote this article about the shocking shooting of David Ortiz in the Dominican Republic, I mentioned Eddy Vladimir Feliz Garcia. That's who we all thought was the gunman at the time. I called him a piece of shit. Which I'm not taking back, either.
But as several outlets have reported, turns out that Garcia wasn't the shooter. He was just the driver of the motorcycle that left the scene at the bar Ortiz was at. So still, he's an accessory to attempted murder. There was a video of Garcia getting beaten to a pulp, so naturally, we all thought it was him who shot Ortiz.
According to a source close to ESPN Deportes, both Garcia and the suspected gunman are in police custody. Officials have not yet released the identify of the shooter.
Ortiz, who was shot at about 8:50 pm on Sunday night in Santo Domingo, was treated for his injuries in the DR in the immediate aftermath. According to CBS Boston, doctors removed Ortiz's gallbladder and part of his intestine while in intensive care.
The 14-year Red Sox slugger was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston on Monday night, where he's in stable condition following a second surgery; it's unclear how long Ortiz will need to stay there for.
Ortiz's wife, Tiffany Ortiz, issued the following statement:
Stay tuned for further updates on Ortiz and the ongoing situation.
GRAPHIC: Sox/MLB Legend David Ortiz Shot In Dominican Republic, Expected To Be Okay; Suspect In Custody
As all of New England was engaged in the Bruins' 5-1 win last night, reports on Twitter started to quickly come in that Red Sox legend David Ortiz was shot in his native Dominican Republic, specifically Santo Domingo, the country's capital.
CDN News out of the Dominican first reported that Ortiz had been injured in an incident and sent to a hospital, before later confirming he was shot.
Surveillance footage shows a gunman approach behind Ortiz shooting him in the back, as Ortiz was on the outdoor patio of a bar. Beware, it is indeed graphic:
It didn't take long for the piece of shit to get tracked down:
The suspect has been identified as 25-year-old Eddy Vladimir Feliz Garcia. During his beating, he suffered a cranium contusion and trauma to this thorax, knee, and leg. Well deserved, in my opinion. He was treated for his injuries before being handed over to the police.
Now of course, everyone's first reaction is shock. It's David Ortiz, the king of Boston. He helped break the curse and win three titles for the Red Sox. Who would think to do such a thing to him in his own country, where he's adored by absolutely everyone, as well as in Boston and many other parts of America? He's a legend in two countries, no doubt about it. Who goes after a guy like that? Especially one known for his charitable contributions, especially in the DR?
All of Red Sox nation was in disbelief, as tweets started to pour out. There's a billion, so I won't share any. But they were all thinking the same thing—is Ortiz OK? Will he survive?
Thankfully, he did, and is expected to be OK. Thank God. This is David Ortiz we're talking. He's arguably the most iconic as well as adored Boston athlete in this recent run of dominance. Bigger than Tom Brady, some will tell you. That's the type of influence he's had on the city of Boston in this era of sports. To have him be taken away at just 43, with so much life in front of him, would be absolutely devastating.
But Big Papi isn't going anywhere.
Prayers and best wishes to Ortiz for a speedy recovery.
Boston strong indeed, baby.
With their backs against the wall last night, the Bruins prevailed in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, beating the Blues 5-1 to force Game 7 in Boston on Wednesday night.
Five different Bruins scored on Sunday night. Brad Marchand's (9th) power-play goal in the first period got things going, while the remaining four came in the third, courtesy of Brandon Carlo (2nd), Karson Kuhlman (1st), David Pastrnak (9th), and Zdeno Chara (EN, 2nd), in that order. For Kuhlman, it was his first game since April 30, having just been inserted into the lineup over David Backes, who was a healthy scratch for the second straight game.
Kuhlman's goal gave the Bruins a 3-0 lead in the third with less than 10 minutes to go. It was also one of the prettiest goals scored by the Bruins in these playoffs:
With the goal, Kuhlman became the 21st Bruin to score a goal this postseason, tying the 1987 Philadelphia Flyers for the all-time record by one team. Of everyone who's appeared this postseason for Boston, John Moore is the only skater to have not scored.
Tuukka Rask was sharp in net once again, saving all but one of the 29 shots he faced, improving his save percentage to .938 this postseason.
So this is it. Game 7 in Boston. Wednesday night. It's the first Game 7 at home for the Bruins in their nearly 100-year history, and first one for Boston in a championship game since 1984 when the Celtics beat the Lakers.
Can't wait. Let's fucking go.
Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi's return to the mound will have to wait a bit longer, as biceps soreness has pushed back his next scheduled bullpen session.
The Boston Globe's Pete Abraham broke the news today:
Eovaldi hasn't pitched since April 17. On April 22, he underwent surgery to remove loose bodies from his right elbow. Following the surgery, multiple outlets reported that Eovaldi would return in no less than six weeks.
The hard-throwing righty was progressing nicely in his rehab, with the Red Sox hoping for a mid-June return prior to his setback.
In four starts this year, Eovaldi is 0-0 with a 6.00 ERA.
It's do-or-die for the Bruins, down 3-2 to the Blues in the Stanley Cup Final with Game 6 tonight in St. Louis.
There will be a change for the Bruins, as forward Karson Kuhlman will be inserted into tonight's lineup. Kuhlman will replace David Backes' usual spot on the second line, as Backes will sit out his second straight game.
Kuhlman has skated in six games this postseason with the last one being on April 30 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal. In those six games, he has two assists and nine shots.
The Red Sox improved to 1-2 in their weekend series against the Rays, splitting a doubleheader on Saturday. Boston lost 9-2 in the first game, followed by a 5-1 win, in which David Price struck out 10 in six solid innings to improve to 4-2.
Price is now unbeaten in his last six starts dating back to April 27. His 10 strikeouts in the game tied a season-high, which came on April 21—also against the Rays.
Michael Chavis and Marco Hernandez (who played both ends of the doubleheader for his first MLB games in over two years) each recorded two-run doubles to back Price, coming in the third and fifth innings, respectively.
Brandon Workman, Marcus Walden, and Matt Barnes each fired a scoreless inning to close out the win.
Josh Smith started the first game for Boston, taking the loss as he allowed four earned runs (all in the second inning) in four innings. For Smith, it was his fifth game and second start this season, as he's now 0-2.
Mike Shawaryn fired two scoreless innings for his second game in as many days, the first of which was his MLB debut; Shawaryn struck out three and now has seven through two appearances with an .077 batting average-against (1-for-13).
Boston's record after the doubleheader was 34-31, while Tampa Bay's was 39-24. The Rays' record is now the same as the Yankees for a first-place tie in the AL East, with the Red Sox sitting six games back and seven in the loss column.
The Red Sox will look to split the weekend series with a win this afternoon, as Eduardo Rodriguez (6-3, 4.88 ERA) takes the mound for his 13th start of the year against defending Cy Young winner Blake Snell (3-5, 3.68 ERA).
For the first time since suffering an arm injury in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final, Bruins right-winger Chris Wagner participated in team practice, doing so on Saturday.
Head coach Bruce Cassidy said Wagner is doubtful to play in Sunday night's critical Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, but didn't rule out a possible Game 7 return for the Bruins' fourth-liner.
Wagner has two goals and a minus-three in 12 games this postseason.
Becoming the fourth pitcher this season to make his Major League debut with the Red Sox was right-hander Mike Shawaryn, as he did so last night in a 5-1 loss at home to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Shawaryn, a fifth-round pick by Boston in 2016, came on to pitch the eighth and ninth innings. He struck out four and allowed only one base-runner—a Kevin Kiermaier leadoff homer in the ninth.
The 24-year-old was 1-2 in 10 games (all starts) this season for the Paw Sox with a 3.72 ERA. He waited over a week to make his debut, as he was recalled by the team on May 30.
Since 2017, Shawaryn is 18-19 with a 3.63 ERA in 62 games (all but one are starts) within the Red Sox farm system. He also has 346 strikeouts in that time, just more than his 339 1/3 innings.
Blues fourth-liner Ivan Barbashev has been suspended for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final following an illegal check to the head on Marcus Johansson early in Game 5 last night.
Incredibly, Barbashev was issued no penalty on the play:
Barbashev, who has six points in 24 games this postseason, had a hearing with the NHL's Department of Player Safety earlier this afternoon. He becomes the sixth player to receive a suspension following a hearing this postseason.