Yeah, you heard correctly. Me and Jeff Karstens are the same person.
Karstens had a perfect game going last night through 7 2/3 innings before surrendering a two-out double in the 8th. We as fans have no idea what was going through Karstens’ head in the 7 full innings prior to the hit, and how he handled losing a perfect game that late in the contest. I mean, if you’re attempting to throw just the 18th perfect game in the history of the sport, you gotta be feeling it throughout. Karstens and his teammates can lie all they want and say they weren’t thinking about it, but I know the truth. Because I’ve had perfection spoiled before.
I’ve performed “Flawless Fretwork” on a handful of songs on Expert in Rock Band. I think the first was Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So” (simple song, not a lot of notes). “Mississippi Queen,” “I Think I’m Paranoid,” “Maps,” “When You Were Young,” yeah…I’ve murdered them out to 100% on the fake guitar.
Prior to dominating Weezer on Expert for the first time, I had a few shots at perfection, only to lose my killer streak in the waning moments of the song. Eyes focus harder, hands get sweaty, surrounding distractions become blurry, friends/family/bandmates are no longer in the peripheral vision. You try to block out the “oh no, I’m gonna lose this” feelings, but they’re there…they’re there.
Which is why Karstens had to know he hadn’t surrendered a baserunner through nearly 8 innings. Every batter he faced lost the singular battle, and collectively, they’d wind up losing the war. He could try and block out the anxiety and nervous ambition while trying to complete the task which seemed so distant in the early innings, but the thoughts had to be slaughtering his mind.
So don’t feel bad for losing the perfect game, Jeff. Hell, you still won the game on a two-hit shutout. You at least have one supporter who knows what you were going through. Even I’ve had to settle for gold stars on Expert without achieving 100% “Flawless Fretwork.”