ATLANTA — The final week of the Phillies season is upon us.
The team has been eliminated from all postseason possibility after a collapse that has seen it post a record of 15-29 since it was in first place in the NL East on Aug. 5.
Here are a few things worth keeping an eye on over the final week:
• Will the team finish with a winning record?
On Aug. 5, the Phils were 15 games over .500 and the thought of a sixth straight losing season seemed incomprehensible. Now they are just a game over .500 and need to win four of their final seven — no easy task with four against contending Colorado on deck — to finish with a winning record.
“It’s very important,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “Everybody understands that there's a lot of value in having a winning season.”
The Phils have not had a winning season since 2011, the last time they made the playoffs. They finished .500 in 2012.
• Will Aaron Nola get one more start (see story)?
• How much more will Nick Williams, Jorge Alfaro and J.P. Crawford play?
Williams is nursing a sore and swollen right middle finger and it hurts when he swings. Alfaro came out of Sunday’s game with a sore right quad muscle. Crawford still has a sore right shoulder. He fell on it making a play in the field Wednesday night and was not ready to play Sunday.
• Will Scott Kingery get some time at second base?
It’s his natural position and he could be the guy there next season if Cesar Hernandez is dealt.
“I don't think there's a need, but I think it would be cool to see him out at second base before the season's over,” Kapler said. “We're not going to force anything. If it makes sense for our club and it gives us a chance to win and is the right thing for Scott Kingery, we'll do it.”
Kingery has played just 23 innings at second this season and not started there since April 16.
“At this point, I think it might feel a little bit weird to go over there,” Kingery said. “But I think to get back to the natural position, maybe just find some rhythm over there and get at least a couple games over there. So if something ends up happening and I play there a little more next season, I’ll be ready for it.”
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