Entering last weekend's interleague games, the American and National Leagues' ERAs were just 0.10 apart. Only twice since the American adopted the designated hitter, in 1973, have the two leagues finished a season closer than that. Although the individual leader in each league, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson, had ERAs through Sunday that rivaled the best of any era, most of their fellow pitchers have been performing so poorly by comparison that the league ERAs are approaching the alltime highs (American, 5.04 in 1936; National, 4.97 in 1930). Here's how this year's gap between leagues ranks among those of the other closest seasons.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]