That's a tightly pitched ball game up there on the scoreboard (right), but it's just routine this season, and especially in the American League. The credit for it—or the blame—must go to the current crop of pitchers, who are turning the big, muscular, splendidly coordinated sluggers into so many patsies. The American League has had 42 low-hit games (no-hitters through four-hitters) thus far, which is 40% more than there were last year at this time. Steve Barber and Stu Miller of Baltimore combined to pitch a no-hitter (though, admittedly, it was not an artistic triumph, since Detroit won the game 2-1). Barber missed another no-hitter earlier with one out in the ninth inning, and young Bill Rohr of Boston had a no-hitter in his major league debut until two were out in the ninth. Last week Jim Palmer of the Orioles faced a minimum of 27 men as he beat the Yankees, and he came within one single of pitching a perfect game. In all, there have been six one-hitters (the major league record for one-hitters for the entire season is 13, set 57 years ago), and there have been 11 two-hitters, compared to only one at this time last year. After failing to match the alltime low batting average for the league (.239 in 1908) by one point in 1966, American Leaguers are currently hitting a collective .231. Home runs have dropped off almost 15%. National League batters have not been quite so inept, but their home-run production is down 21% and their .238 batting average is one point below the National League's worst mark (also .239, and also set in 1908). And Sandy Koufax isn't even around anymore.