In the National League the hitless wonders were matched against the wondrous hitters, but neither the Mets nor the Reds seemed content with the stereotyping as they switched roles in a dizzy melodrama. Ever the savior, the Reds' Johnny Bench touched off hosannas (left) in the first game with a ninth-inning homer. Coupled with teammate Pete Rose's eighth-inning clout, it smashed the hopes of the Mets' Tom Seaver 2-1. But the supposedly powerless New Yorkers roused themselves the next day behind lefthander Jon Matlack and scored an astonishing five runs—to the Reds' none—as the pennant turned slowly in the wind.
Pitching is what the Mets had plenty of, and after Tom Seaver's 13-strikeout opening defeat, John Mat-lack served up zeroes in an overpowering two-hitter.
Rival leaders Yogi and Sparky spar verbally before the main event.