I hate to look like I'm copping out of something here, but I kind of am. There's nothing left to analyze. There are 14 games left in the season, and the Mets have a magic number of 13.
The bullpen is a disaster, the Mets as a whole are starting to look eerily like last season...but it doesn't matter.
If the Mets make the playoffs, with a good final two weeks, it doesn't matter. I know it won't look good with the way the bullpen has pitched, but if they just make it in, anything can happen.
So there's your bi-weekly Mets analysis. By the next time I do one of these, the Mets had better be a playoff team.
MOST IMPRESSIVE: The Angels have no such worries. Anytime a team clinches this early in the season (I always use the 1986 Mets clinching on September 17 as a benchmark - in recent memory, I can only remember the 1995 Indians, the 1998 Yankees, and the 2001? Seattle Mariners as besting that), you have to give them major props. So major props to the Angels, who just dominated that American League West this year.
BIGGEST SURPRISE: Staying out in LA, the fact that the Dodgers didn't just fold up the tents and collapse is a bit of a suprise. And now they're really starting to pull away in the West. They're still just five games over .500, but they're starting to look like a major league baseball team.
LEAST IMPRESSIVE: On the flip side, there's the Milwaukee Brewers, who have just faded fast these past few weeks (since playing the Mets, really). I know from big collapses, and this is a big collapse. They were sitting pretty, having made all of the right moves. Now they're tied for the wild card with the Phillies (and if the Mets fall out of first, they'll be in the wild card chase, at least), and they've fired their manager. What a mess.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: The Diamondbacks, I've always thought, were the best of the worst in the West. The fact that they have just fallen apart while the Dodgers have gotten hot is a bit of a disappointment. It doesn't look like the West will even be a race anymore.
One note about the Mets' magic number. I started calculating it on Saturday, right about the time the Mets started to have a bad weekend. I won't mention it again until it's about 1, with more than 1 game to play. And then it's only maybe.