SAN FRANCISCO — Having been shut out twice in his bid to make the National League All-Star team, Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb will be seeking some individual glory when he faces Jake Peavy and the San Francisco Giants on Saturday.
Lamb was denied a spot among the first 33 players to make the NL squad when the fans voted Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs into a starting role, and Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies was picked as the backup.
Lamb, who began play Friday third in the NL among third basemen in home runs (20) and RBIs (61), was given a second shot at making his first All-Star appearance in the Final Vote, but once again the fans let him down.
Lamb finished fourth out of five in the NL balloting that ended before Friday's games, with Giants first baseman Brandon Belt, who took the field Friday with far fewer home runs (10) and RBIs (46) than Lamb, getting the nod.
Neither Lamb nor Belt had much of an impact on Friday's 6-2 Giants win, each going hitless and combining for six walks, four drawn by Belt.
Lamb thus begins the weekend one double shy of becoming just the fourth Diamondback ever to record 20 doubles and 20 home runs before the All-Star break. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who has accomplished the feat twice, was the last to do it in 2015.
Lamb already has a double against Peavy this season. It came in Arizona's 9-7 win the last time they saw the Giants' veteran in San Francisco on April 18.
The double was one of seven Lamb has hit against the Giants this season. Despite going 0-2 Friday, he's still hitting .318 (14-for-44) against San Francisco with one triple, three home runs and seven RBIs in 12 games to go along with the seven doubles.
Lamb and his teammates were reminded Friday night the rest of the season, not just the first half, has been relegated to individual glory with the trade of one of the club's key contributors, closer Brad Ziegler.
The veteran was dealt to the Boston Red Sox for two prospects.
“It's just something that has to happen,” Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale said, noting the club's last-place standing in the NL West. “We should have played better and these things wouldn't be happening.”
Peavy will be seeking to extend a piece of personal history himself Saturday when he goes after an 18th career win against the Diamondbacks. The 152-game winner has beaten Arizona more than any other team.
The Diamondbacks will counter with left-hander Robbie Ray.
Ray, who has never lost to the San Francisco in three career starts, will be attempting to prevent the Giants from clinching the NL's best record in the first half.
The Giants (55-33) enter the weekend two games ahead of the Chicago Cubs (52-34) in the overall NL standings, which at the end of the season determines the seeding in the playoffs. The Washington Nationals (52-36) are another game farther.
“Every game is so important for us,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy insisted after Friday's win, one that included a hit batter, two purpose pitches and a pair of manager ejections. “We're in the business to win games here.”
The Giants will see the Nationals seven times in the first 21 games after the All-Star break. They don't play the Cubs again until September.