Indians, Dodgers will test truth behind baseball’s usual September wisdom

There's an old adage in baseball thatyou shouldn't trust what you see in March or September. Well, that'll be put to the test this season, thanks to the surging Indians and the plummeting Dodgers.The logic behind the adage is sound: Appearances can be deceiving with the season's bookends. A .450 hitter in spring training, no matter how good he looks, is not Joe Crede Jersey actually a .450 hitter. A hot team inSeptember, no matter how dominant it appears, is guaranteed nothing in October. A cold team in September, no matter how horribly it plays, can still win the World Series. You get the idea.MORE: Every MLB team's worst regular-season memory, revisitedBut never in baseball history have we seen contenders display the kinds of simultaneous extremes of the Indians and Dodgers. Their respective hot and coldstreaks can sure tempt one to conclusion jump. But, as we know, things can change in a hurry in baseball, and teams/players almost always end up being exactly what we thought they were. Is it safe to a sume that's how things will play out in 2017? Hard to say, but it's sure going to be interesting.At the least,that old adage about September iswisdom that should keep the Indians (and their fans) humble amid a historic streak and should keep the Dodgers (and their fans) from losing their minds as they're enveloped by the opposite kind of history. And it's history itself that tells us October is, literally, a whole new ballgame. More on that in a bit.Judging bySeptemberappearances, the Indians will plow through the season's final weeks and bring Cleveland its long-sought championship with ease. Meanwhile, if we're goingby appearances, the Dodgers will lose three straight in the Division Series (if they even make it!)and crawl sheepishly into the winter. Neither is likely to happen.As you know, Clevelandis on a 20-game winning streak, one win from setting the all-time American League record, and lookinglike an unstoppable force. Everything is clicking: The pitchers have produced six shutouts during the streak, and the team has a collective OPS of.942. Dominant stuff.The Dodgers, as you also know, look terrible. Entering play Tuesday, they hadlost 11 straight their longest such streak of the Los Angeles era and 16 of their past 17. Just a month ago, LAwas a slam dunk to fly past 100 wins and wasin the discu sion as perhaps the greatest team of all time. Now, the Dodgers lookas though theycould struggle to reach the century mark.Woof.MORE: Three things about the Dodgers' 11th straight lo sThankfully, we have recent baseball history to offer perspective.The September hot:The 2002 A's, whose 20-game winning streak the Indiansmatched Tuesday,were scorching going into September and going out. After winning their 20th straight on Sept. 4, they finished the month 18-7 (including winning nine of 11 to close out the season)and tallied an MLB-best 103 wins in prime position to win in October. Then they lost in the Division Series.The September cold: The 2000 Yankeeswent 2-13over their last 15 games including seven straight lo ses to end the season. After going 8-2 to open the month, the bottom fell out and the team stumbled tojust 87 total wins. And they didn't just lose, the were blown out a lot. Starting with an 11-1 lo s to the Indians on Sept. 15, the Yankees' pitching staff allowed 11or more runs seven times (including three instances of 15 or more)while the offense was held to two or fewer runs eight times. New York looked vulnerable, even terrible. Then they won the World Series.There are le s extreme examples, too. The 1993 Braves went 22-8 over their final 30 games to win the NL West and surge into the playoffswith 104 wins. Atlanta never even lost more than one game at a time during that stretch, as they had three future Hall of Fame pitchers leading the way. Still, they lost in six games to the Phillies in the NLCS, the only round of leagueplayoffs at the Jose Abreu Jersey time.MORE: Indians asWorld Series favorites? "I don't see anyone beating us"On the other side, the 2006 Tigers went 12-16 over their last 30 games, including five straight lo ses to end the season, which dropped them into second place on the final dayafter leading their division by as many as 10 games in August. Simply put: They blew it.Talk about limping into the playoffs with a bruised ego. They still went to the World Series, though.Here's the point: September doesn't matter once the calendar turns to October. Nothing is certain. We all know this. Sokeep it together, Cleveland and Los Angeles.Things may look great/horrible now, but there's still a long way to go.Surprises are part of what makes baseball great.