Three days after returning from the disabled list with lower back spasms, Johnson, the Cubs' run-through-a-wall-type outfielder, helped prevent a Yankees ninth-inning comeback with a sliding catch down the left-field line on Robinson Cano's leadoff fly ball.
"Who didn't know he would make a big play?" said Quade, who inserted Johnson into the game for defensive purposes in the ninth. "Part of the deal with his health is the way he plays. He'll leave his feet and run through a wall, or anything. Sometimes that's not conducive to staying healthy."
Johnson didn't run into a wall, but he nearly slid into one. He laughed when asked if he was still in one piece.
"Yeah, yeah, one piece. I know I don't look like it," said Johnson, who still has a black left eye from being hit by a pitch in the face during his rehab stint with Triple-A Iowa.
- 131 wins
- 121 wins
The Yankees had a walk and single later in the inning, making Johnson's play an even bigger part of preserving a 3-1 lead.
Playing in the left-center-field gap against Cano, a lefty, Johnson wasn't sure he would be able to make the play.
"I knew I had a shot at it, but I had a long way to run," Johnson said. "I thought it might go foul, might go into the seats."
Johnson's play capped an errorless game for the Cubs, who have the lowest fielding percentage (.977) in the Major Leagues. Aramis Ramirez made several tricky plays at third, and he was backed up on the one he couldn't make. In the seventh, a sharp grounder by Eduardo Nunez glanced off Ramirez's glove. But Starlin Castro moved over to field it and threw out Nunez by a step.
Alex Ruppenthal is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.