Saturday Special? Alexi Casilla and Jason Repko


With their come-from-behind win Sunday afternoon the Minnesota Twins have won 3 in a row and more importantly 5 out of their last 7. On Saturday the offense finally broke out and scored more than 5 runs for the first time all season. It was their 20th game of the year.

The bats have slowly been coming around for a while, but the runs simply weren’t following. In the end all Minnesota needed all along was one of the big bats to wake up and all the “little” bats would follow. Justin Morneau was the big bat as he went 2-5 with 2 RBI on Saturday and then 2-3 with another 2 RBI on Sunday.

Sunday was a nice win, but Saturday is the game that broke the scoring drought. Maybe it was Morneau’s return from the flu or maybe it was just a matter of getting to face Fausto Carmona and Chad Durbin in a game. Regardless, something special happened on Saturday. In addition to Morneau, four other Twins had multi-hit games. The fact that Denard Span and Jason Kubel were two of the four is hardly a shock. They’ve been doing their part all along.

Jason Repko and Alexei Casilla on the other hand also had 2-hits apiece. That’s an occurrence I didn’t even think was possible. In fact, it made me wonder if it had ever happened before …

When I start wondering about something like this, I have to investigate and this is what I found.

Jason Repko has played in 300 major league games in his career. He’s had 2 or more hits in just 28 of those.

Alexi Casilla has 330 major league games under his belt. 61 of those have been of the multi-hit variety. Let that number sink in for a while – Sixty-One. That means that in 18.5% of the games he’s played he has contributed 2 or more hits to the cause. But wait, for Casilla to get more than one hit, he would have to finish with more than 2 at bats and factoring that in drops our number of eligible games from 330 down to 266 and in turn ups the percentage to 22.9%.

Given that he is a 0.246/.302/.321 career hitter and has a multi-hit outing in 22.9% of games with at least 2 at bats, we can logically assume he has a lot of “O-fers” on his resume. That assumption would be correct. In those 266 games where he’s had at least 2 at bats, he’s failed to come up with a hit 102 times or 38.3% of the time. I have no idea if that is high or low in relation to other major league players, but it seems that he has a abnormally high number of multi-hit games for a 0.246 hitter just the same.

Of course all that is beside the point and it doesn’t address the primary question here – did Casilla and Repko ever have multi-hit games on the same day prior to Saturday April 23rd, 2010? Since they’ve only been teammates for a little over 1 season, we have to consider their entire careers to make this interesting. At least that’s what I thought on the surface. Turns out that our pool of games is much smaller than one would think.

Jason Repko had hit first multi-hit game on April 6th, 2005 but Casilla’s first such game didn’t come until April 19th, 2007. Using that as our starting point we have to eliminate 21 of Repko’s 28. That leaves us with only 7 possible games it could have happened. It certainly doesn’t help matters here that Jason went 4 years between multi-hit games in the majors. On August 28th, 2006 he went 3-4 with the Dodgers in a 6-5 win over the Reds. His next one wouldn’t come until July 26th, 2010 when he went 2-5 as the Twins routed the Kansas City Royals 19-1.

So we have just 7 chances, but that number is really only 6 since April 23rd, 2011 (Saturday’s game) is included in that number.

Here are the six games that Repko had two or more hits in a game while his major league career “overlapped” with Casilla’s:

  • July 26th, 2010 (Repko 2-5)
  • July 28th, 2010 (3-4)
  • August 8th, 2010 (2-5)
  • September 18th, 2010 (2-4)
  • September 25th, 2010 (2-3)
  • April 17th, 2011 (2-4)

The next step, naturally, is to check and see if Alexi played on those days, and if so how he did. Be warned that if you read on this gets somewhat anti-climatic.

That’s because the first game out of the chute on July 26th, Alexi went 2-6 as the Twins were putting that 19-1 beatdown on the Royals. On July 28th, Casilla went 0-5, but then on August 8th he went 2-5 in an 8-6 win over Tampa Bay. On September 18th Alexi did not play and only appeared as a pinch runner in the game on the 25th. This season, on April 17th, when Repko went 2-4, Casilla put up an 0-5 goose egg.

What seemed like an impossible event at the outset had happened not once but twice before in the annals of major league and Twins history. Looking at the results of all of this one thing is certain. If Alexi Casilla and Jason Repko each have multiple hits in the same game, the Twins are going to win.

They are 3-o in those games after all.

*One final Repko/Casilla “fun fact” they each have one, and only one, 4-hit game so far in their careers.