You might have noticed that baseball's most puzzling team is the Marlins.

After getting off to a sizzling 11-1 start, Florida has stumbled to a 4-12 follow-up. At one point, the Marlins had a seven-game winning streak, followed immediately by a seven-game losing streak.

All of which has the few fans who accidentally stumble into Dolphin Stadium scratching their heads.

It's easy to figure out the reason for the downturn: The Marlins' starters have gone 19 straight starts without a win.

Height of ineptitude

ESPN.com recently rated the worst-hitting pitchers in the league that allows pitchers to bat.

The absolute worst on the list was Washington's Daniel Cabrera, who is 0 for 21 in his career with 19 strikeouts.

Cabrera whiffed in his first 18 major-league plate appearances before breaking the spell with a groundout against Volstad on April 19.

Nationals outfielder Adam Dunn said it looks as if Cabrera "is trying to club baby seals."

In a game earlier this season, Mitchell Boggs of St. Louis actually was dim-witted enough to hit Cabrera with a pitch.

When Cabrera stood motionless at home plate for about 15 seconds, broadcaster Bob Carpenter offered the opinion that Cabrera might not be taking first base because he had never been there.

Dodgers still sweet at home

It's hard to come up with adjectives for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Sizzling doesn't quite seem to get it done. They entered last night trying to tie the mark for the longest home winning streak to start a season by any team since 1900. Tuesday night's 3-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks gave the Dodgers a share of the record, which the Detroit Tigers set by winning their first 12 games at Bennett Park in 1911 - the year before they moved into Tiger Stadium.

Up and about

Aaron Boone visited his teammates at Houston's Tropicana Field yesterday for the first time since having open heart surgery March 26. The 36-year-old infielder needed the surgery to replace a bicuspid aortic valve. He was found to have a congenital defect in his heart in which the valve has two - not the normal three - cusps to manage blood flow. Boone has made no decision about resuming his career.

Injured list

Marlins reliever Scott Proctor will have his troublesome right elbow examined next week by specialist James Andrews. He had arthroscopic surgery on his elbow over the winter. . . . Astros hitting coach Sean Berry has what doctors believe is a cancerous tumor on his kidney and plans to have it removed in the next few days. . . . Rick Ankiel remained out of the St. Louis lineup, two days after crashing headfirst into the center-field wall while making a running catch against the Phillies. Manager Tony La Russa said the Cardinals have not decided on whether to put Ankiel on the 15-day disabled list.

Contact staff writer Don McKee at 215-854-4611 or
This article contains information from the Associated Press.