NEW YORK (AP) Yankees manager Joe Girardi is defending his handling of the team this year, saying: ''I did what I thought was right every day.''

New York led the AL East by seven games in late July but finished 87-75, six games behind first-place Toronto. The Yankees were eliminated with a 3-0 loss to Houston on Tuesday night in the AL wild-card game.

Girardi acknowledges ''people thought that I could have done better. I understand that, and so you live with it.''

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He adds of his players: ''Were they tired? I don't know. Everyone during the course of the season is going to get physically worn down, because it's a grind.''