The 90-loss clubs conclude their awful seasons Sunday at Petco Park after splitting the first two games of this weekend series.
After winning two NL West titles under Bruce Bochy, San Diego (63-98) fell one game shy of the playoffs last year in Bud Black’s first year as manager. The Padres, who led the majors with a 3.70 ERA in 2007, saw their pitching staff take a hit this year with injuries to reigning Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy and Chris Young, as the club’s ERA soared to 4.40.
The losing has caused speculation that Black - a former pitcher - could be fired. Hitting coach Wally Joyner already resigned Tuesday for the Padres, who are last in the majors in runs with 636.
Pittsburgh (66-95), meanwhile, will complete its 16th straight losing season, and fourth straight with at least 94 losses. The Pirates have the worst ERA in the NL at 5.11 and have lost 26 of their last 35 games.
General manager Neal Huntington, who just completed his first season with Pittsburgh, will evaluate his club after the season. While first-year manager John Russell’s job appears safe, pitching coach Jeff Andrews tenure may end.
“At the end of each season, we make the determination moving forward in all of those situations,” Huntington told the Pirates’ official Web site. “Once the season ends, we’ll give a full evaluation of everything - top to bottom - and see how things look for our next major league season.”
Cha Seung Baek (6-9, 4.72 ERA) will start the season finale for San Diego. Baek is 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA in his last three outings.
He earned a win in his final road outing last Sunday, yielding one run in seven innings in a 6-2 victory at Washington.
“He got on the hill, we got the sign into him, and he went,” catcher Nick Hundley said about Baek. “There wasn’t a lot of thought process on his mechanics or pitch selection - he threw with a clear mind.”
Baek is making his second career start against the Pirates. He gave up four runs in 5 1-3 innings, and did not get a decision in a 6-5 victory on July 25.
Ross Ohlendorf (0-3, 7.50) makes his fifth start of the season for Pittsburgh. He’s lost three straight outings after allowing four runs in five innings last Sunday in a 6-2 loss to Houston.
The right-hander, who was acquired in a deal with the New York Yankees on July 26, has never faced the Padres.