PITTSBURGH -- Catcher Russell Martin, who was held out of the final pair of regular-season games with a tweaked left hamstring, said he fully expects to start against the Giants on Wednesday in the National League Wild Card Game.
"It's pretty important baseball, not that the other games weren't," Martin said Tuesday. "But this is for all the marbles. I can definitely go."
Martin has had a standout season both at and behind the plate, and his assurance that he'll play proves a large sigh of relief for the Pirates. Martin, 31, initially was bothered by the issue last Wednesday in Atlanta when he left after just four innings. He played the next two nights, but he was pulled in the seventh inning of Friday's win against the Reds.
Martin hit .290/.402/.430 in 111 games, and he thrived in last year's NL Wild Card Game win, hitting a pair of homers in the Pirates' 6-2 victory over Cincinnati.
"I won't even feel pain [Wednesday], and it's not really something I'm even thinking about," Martin said. "I'm thinking about going out there, competing and doing my job. We're professionals, you're not going to feel fresh all year long. There are going to be bangs and bruises. One of the reasons I got a couple of days off was to make sure I would be right for this game [Wednesday]. I think it was a smart decision, and hopefully it pays off."
Chris Stewart, who started for Martin, was also banged up as he got hit with Johnny Cueto's backswing Sunday. Stewart was hit on the left wrist, which he had wrapped Tuesday, but he said he would be ready to play as well against San Francisco.
First baseman Ike Davis was dealing with an illness over the weekend and was pulled from Sunday's game. Davis anticipated being available Wednesday.
Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.