Rivera has decided not to pitch in this series, leaving his iconic farewell at Yankee Stadium on Thursday as his final game.
"I think I squeezed every ounce of fuel that I had in my tank, and it's empty," said Rivera, who exits with a major league-record 652 saves. "I have nothing left. I gave everything that I had."
Pettitte had his own storybook ending Saturday in Houston, the only other place he pitched in his 18-season career. The left-hander tossed a five-hitter in a 2-1 victory, the 256th of his career and his first complete game since 2006.
"It couldn't end any better," Pettitte said. "It's been terrible because I know it's over. It's a shame you get old."
While the two longtime Yankees will retire, it's unknown if the 38-year-old Rodriguez will get to go out on his own terms. The fifth-leading home run hitter in MLB history (654) is set to focus on his appeal of a 211-game drug suspension.
"This has been a burden, a big burden. Let's get it on," Rodriguez told the team's website. "It starts on Monday. Better to face it head on."
With no playoff appearance this year, New York (84-77) will have an extended offseason for the first time since 2008, and only the second time since 1994. David Huff (3-1, 6.06 ERA) will try to take them into the long winter with a victory in his first matchup against Houston (51-110).
The left-hander, who has made 12 relief appearances this season, was tagged for a career high-tying nine runs over 3 1-3 innings in his only 2013 start, a 13-9 loss to Boston on Sept. 7.
He'll face a team that's the first in the majors to lose 110 or more games since Arizona went 51-111 in 2004. Detroit was the last AL team to do so, going 43-119 in 2003.
"It's pretty tough, especially with the kind of skid we're on right now," catcher Matt Pagnozzi said.
The Astros, losers in a franchise-record 14 straight, will send out Erik Bedard (4-12, 4.81) for the finale of another miserable season. The left-hander is 0-2 with a 10.00 ERA since rejoining the rotation Sept. 16, and was charged with six runs over five innings in a 9-2 loss in Cleveland last Sunday.
Bedard is 0-2 with an 8.22 ERA in his last three starts against the Yankees and did not get a decision in his only matchup this season. He allowed four runs over four innings in a 5-4 defeat May 1.
New York will seek to improve to 6-0 all-time in Houston and 13-2 in the overall series. The Astros will try to avoid matching the third-most losses in a three-year stretch in major league history.
The Philadelphia Athletics dropped 324 from 1915-17, while the New York Mets lost 340 from 1962-64, and 332 from 1963-65.