Originally written on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 10/30/14

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

“I thought, once again, Felix Doubront was terrific,” said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. “Ahead in the count most of the night, and his fastball was alive, his breaking ball was very good. Did what he had to do to get us in a winning position.”

Along with Clay Buchholz’s performance Friday night, perhaps the Sox starting pitching, which at times has been horrendous this season, is beginning to recover. Buchholz went 6 1/3 innings, giving up four runs, three earned on eight hits and three walks with no strikeouts and one hit batter.
 
It was just the second time Sox starters have posted back-to-back quality starts this season, first since Jon Lester and Josh Beckett did so on April 28 and 29 in Chicago.
 
“Yeah, I think that's a 100 percent true statement,” said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia of the possibility of good starting pitching being contagious.
 
“If you watch the guy before you and you see him go after guys and attack them, and you got to be the same way. You can’t be afraid to make contact with the strike zone. You can’t be afraid of anything. You just got to go out there. That’s what we did the past two nights.”

CSNNE: Sox hope Doubront's pitching is contagious

With the way the season has gone, none of us thought we would see two very good pitching performances back-to-back. Doubront's was better than Clay's, but they were both quality starts. On top of the good pitching, the offense have done their part and have given the pitching some wiggle room.

Daniel Bard has been showing progress and today will be a big test for him. The reason it will be a big test is Justin Masterson, the Red Sox killer. Ever since the Sox parted ways with Masterson, he has made them his *****. His 3-0 record and 1.95 ERA against the Sox paints the picture pretty well. With that being said, it is safe to sat that the Sox have not been able to figure him out. Chances are, the Sox will not give Bard much run support, so we better hope the recent pitching performances are contagious.

On Page 2, Cody Ross hates his signature home run move

For the first time since April 23, it made an appearance.

The Cody Ross bat-flip.

The Red Sox’ outfielder launched his sixth home run of the season in the sixth inning of his team’s 4-1 win over the Indians Saturday night. And before the ball even cleared the left field wall, Ross’ bat had been tossed toward the Indians’ dugout to punctuate the moment.

But believe it or not, for Ross it is a trademark he never wished made an appearance in the first place.

“I’m not trying to show anybody up. It’s just a reaction,” he explained. “I actually don’t like it. I wish I could get rid of my bat a different way, maybe like Lance Berkman, hitting it and setting it on the plate. It just happens.

“You can’t really practice that. I don’t go home at night and think about ways to let go of my bat when I hit a ground ball or a fly ball. It just happens. When I hit a ground ball I let my bat go back where it hits the plate. Sometimes when I hit a fly ball I’ll throw my bat another way in discuss. When I hit a home run I still throw it, but it’s more like … It’s kind of a weird deal.”

WEEI: Why Cody Ross hates his bat flip, but can't stop doing it

This is like a smoker saying, "I don't like smoking, but I just can't quit".

I think he may like doing that, but he is just saying he doesn't so no one will get pissed off at him. Who doesn't like rubbing a home run in the faces of the opposing teams? He likes doing it so much that in the moment of the home run, when he may not want to do it, his hands naturally do what they think is right, and flip the bat to punctuate the moment. At least he doesn't follow it up with a slow jog around the bases.

The rest of the links:

Herald: Daniel Nava brings new outlook | ESPN Boston: MacMullan Beckett at 'point of no return' | Globe: Time for Red Sox to toughen up | Andrew Bailey getting closer to a return | Doubront, Red Sox make it look easy | CSNNE: Masterful Doubront leads Sox past tribe

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