When Brett Gardner is up with 1st and 2nd nobody out in a very close game, you should be bunting 95% of the time. In this case Girardi should not have invoked the 5% rule as it was idiocy. The fact Gardner struck out is not proof it was a bad move; it was simply an awful decision.
Pettitte and Stewart went out with injuries, hopefully they are not too long term…at least for Pettitte.
Fast forward to the 8th inning with the tying run in scoring position and Ichiro up with 1st base opened, they were so unconcerned about Ichiro, even with Romine on deck; they went after him and struck him out. The issue then was Romine led off the 9th and after have a 3-0 count he took the “give me” 3-0 strike but it looked like a ball to me. He should have taken another pitch at this point but instead swung at the 3-1 pitch that was low but possibly a strike and weakly (corrected to say soft liner) short hop to 2nd. Gardner had a 3-1 count on him and he tried to bunt. Kay, incorrectly, said that shows a sign of a guy with little confidence (Gardner did stink up to this point) trying to bunt. I think it was a smart move as he figured he would get a good pitch and the 3rd baseman was deep and if he could get on he could run all day on Montero and if it was a ball, he could take the walk. He ended up fouling it off but then lined a clean single through the left side to get on base. Nix was now up. Think about how truly sad it is that Romine and Nix were up in crucial 9th inning AB’s against a righty closer! Anyway, Nix gets ahead of the count while Gardner steals 2nd and 3rd and swings at ball 4 on a 3-1 count! That swing might have cost us the game because with Cano up and an open base, Cano didn’t see a single good pitch (credit the pitcher) and he grounded out to end the game. It was a fun AB too watch, but with a guy throwing 97-98 and an open base, it was a tough AB for Cano as walking him intentionally wouldn't have been a crazy move. Cano needed a little more discipline, but the pitcher made a lot of quality close strikes.
Tough loss as we had chances. Seattle has some guys throwing hard but they all have some wrinkles too.