Make it Bartman's law

Steve Bartman just can't get a break.

More than two months after Moises Alou was quoted as saying he would not have caught the foul ball that Bartman interfered with at Wrigley Field in the 2003 National League Championship Series, Alou said yes, he would have indeed caught it if not for the Cubs fan.

Alou, now with the New York Mets, was the Cubs' leftfielder at the fateful moment - the eighth inning of Game 6. The Florida Marlins rallied after that to win the game and the series.

In March, Associated Press columnist Jim Litke wrote that Alou had told him, "I wouldn't have caught it anyway." Now Alou said he doesn't remember saying it.

"If I said that, I was probably joking to make [Bartman] feel better," he said in the Palm Beach Post.

Alou added, "It's time to forgive the guy and move on. I said that the night it happened."

Better than medicine

Brian Horwitz figured that professional baseball was not in his future following his senior season at California, so he had his forms ready for chiropractic school.

Still, he wanted a taste, and he accepted an offer by the San Francisco Giants of $1,000 to play with Salem (Ore.) of the Northwest League the summer after his graduation.

So began an unlikely career that reached its apex Monday night when the 25-year-old Horwitz slammed his first major-league home run for the Giants.

"It's an out-of-body experience," Horwitz said. "I'm really enjoying it."

Hell freezes over

During John Smoltz's first stint as the Atlanta Braves' closer, from 2002 to 2004, he converted 91.7 percent of his 157 save opportunities, better than anyone in those three seasons except Eric Gagne and Trevor Hoffman.

So it was quite a shock when the Braves veteran blew his first save opportunity since then by giving up a two-run single Monday night with two out in the ninth.

"I can't describe the feeling; it's one of the worst feelings in all of baseball," said Smoltz, who was relieved that the Braves pulled out the win.

"I needed a little more touch. I knew I was going to be amped up. I threw the ball awfully hard but not exactly in some of the [right] spots."

Rockin' in the USA

No matter where they are these days, whether Philadelphia, Chicago or Los Angeles, the Colorado Rockies can't do anything right.

Entering last night's game against the Dodgers, the Rockies had lost 13 straight on the road and eight straight overall. At 20-38, last year's National League champions are on a pace to lose 100 games.

Only two teams have lost 100 games the season after making the World Series - the 1915 Philadelphia Athletics and the 1998 Florida Marlins. In both cases, the teams sold off much of their top talent to save money.

The 2008 Rockies have been rocked by injuries to a number of starters, including Matt Holliday, Troy Tulowitzki and Brad Hawpe.

Contact staff writer Joe Juliano at 215-854-4494 or jjuliano@phillynews.com.