Whether you ordered a hot dog in Miami or fried grasshoppers in Seattle, Opening Day kicked off across Major League Baseball on Thursday. The New York Yankees and Giancarlo Stanton delivered the goods and powered their way to a heady 6-1 victory against the Toronto Blue Jays and ace JA Happ.
The Yankees snapped a six game Opening Day losing streak behind rookie manager Aaron Boone, Luis Severino’s 100 mph fastball, and two behemoth Stanton homers.
Severino pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up one hit—-a Curtis Grandson single—-three walks and seven strikeouts. Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post noted that Severino “struck mostly with fastballs (42 of them) and sliders (44)” and averaged 97.9 on the fastball, hitting 100 once.
Severino’s outing propelled him into elite ranks, as Coley Harvey of ESPN notes:
Severino’s performance was capped by a three home run performance by the Bombers—-Stanton homered historically in his first Yankee at-bat and again in the ninth inning and Brett Gardner snuck one over the wall in the seventh inning to join in the fireworks display.
Yankee fans had been waiting impatiently since he was acquired for Yankees radio announcer John Sterling’s Stanton home run call and, according to MLB.com, he delivered this line upon Stanton’s first blast: non puo essere fermato or “you can’t be stopped.”
Sterling’s strange choice of an Italian phrase (by the way, Stanton is not Italian) met with mixed reviews among fans. Sterling should have gone with my choice, although it may be the more obvious choice, “Gone-Carlo” for the call (also Christian's choice mentioned on the NYY Sports Talk Podcast a couple of months back).
Sterling has 161 games to perfect the call and, surely, if Opening Day is any indication, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to find the right call for Stanton’s majestic mashes over the fences around Major League Baseball.