"I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt I'm not playing again," Sheets said. "No matter what, there is not enough help or money to pull me out of this one."
Sheets has had an injury-plagued last few years after being named to four All-Star teams from 2001-08. He had major elbow surgery after the '08 season, and had Tommy John surgery in '10. After his '10 operation, Sheets didn't pitch again until signing a Minor League contract with the Braves this summer and joining their rotation after the All-Star break.
Sheets' comeback was halted by a dead arm that forced him onto the disabled list in late August. Wednesday will be his first appearance since going on the DL. He is expected to throw two innings before yielding to rookie right-handers Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran.
Right-hander A.J. Burnett, who has made his own comeback of sorts this season, will start for the Pirates. The Yankees traded Burnett in the offseason after back-to-back disappointing seasons. In Pittsburgh, however, Burnett has become the Pirates' ace. He enters his final start 16-9 with a 3.43 ERA and 177 strikeouts in 196 2/3 innings.
In his last start, Burnett was on the wrong side of history when the Pirates were no-hit by Reds right-hander Homer Bailey. Burnett pitched well himself, allowing just one run in eight innings.
"[A no-hitter] is probably what it took to pin a loss on A.J. [Friday]," manager Clint Hurdle said. "He was very effective."
Braves: Regular lineup to return Wednesday
With the Braves being eliminated from the race for the NL East on Monday, manager Fredi Gonzalez used Tuesday's game against the Pirates as a chance to rest his starters. Only two members of the Braves' regular lineup -- center fielder Michael Bourn and shortstop Andrelton Simmons -- started Tuesday.
Gonzalez said Atlanta's regular starters will be in the lineup on Wednesday so they can get a few more plate appearances before Friday's Wild Card game at Turner Field.
"I'm going to start all of the guys and probably give them an at-bat or two," Gonzalez said. "You don't want to give them three days off. That doesn't do you any good."
Pirates: Barajas' time as a Pirate could end Wednesday
In addition to the end of the regular season, Wednesday could be catcher Rod Barajas' final game as a Pirate. He will be a free agent this winter unless Pittsburgh picks up his $3.5 million option.
Hurdle said the Pirates will have to evaluate what stage Barajas is in his career, and where 27-year-old backstop Michael McKenry is in his.
"You look at what the options might be," Hurdle said. "Is he a No. 1 or turning into a No. 2? Is it Michael McKenry's time to be a No. 1? Is there another No. 1 out there? We've had those conversations with Rod, and he understands very honestly where he is at this point of time in his career."
Sheets enters the final start of his career with a 9-8 record and a 3.04 ERA in 23 starts against the Pirates. He last pitched against them on June 25, 2010, as a member of the A's.
Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 0-for-4 Tuesday, dropping his batting average to .327. Giants catcher Buster Posey is now all but assured of winning the NL batting title. McCutchen remains in the mix for the league lead in hits (193) and runs (107).