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Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves Preview, Tuesday 8/23, 7:05 CT: Attendance News

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Hello, Martin! Martin Prado of the Atlanta Braves steals second base as Darwin Barney of the Chicago Cubs covers  the base at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
Hello, Martin! Martin Prado of the Atlanta Braves steals second base as Darwin Barney of the Chicago Cubs covers the base at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
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The Cubs have drawn 2,471,210 to Wrigley Field so far this year. Or, at least, that's how many tickets have been sold for the 66 home games played so far. The actual turnstile count is quite a bit less, based on the empty seats for many games.

That means the Cubs need to draw (or, have as announced attendance, actually) 528,790 for the last 15 dates, or 35,253 per date, to reach the three million mark for the eighth straight year. Last year, the Cubs barely reached that mark, selling 3,062,973 tickets.

Despite last night's paid crowd of 39,420, it won't be that easy. Though some remaining games will draw more than the 35,253 average needed, several -- likely the September night games -- will have much smaller crowds announced. Last season, some late-August and early-September games drew around 30,000, and a couple of early-season games this year drew 26,292 and 27,039.

The Cubs may make it to 3,000,000 -- but there are still likely to be a lot of empty seats in September.

Cubs lineup:

Castro SS, Johnson RF, Ramirez 3B, Baker 2B, Peña 1B, Byrd CF, Soriano LF, Soto C, Coleman P

Starlin is back. Johnson is starting vs. a LHP.

Braves lineup:

Bourn cf, Prado lf, McCann c, Uggla 2b, Jones 3b, Hinske 1b, Gonzalez ss, Heyward rf, Minor p
Today's Starting Pitchers
Casey Coleman
Casey Coleman
Cubs
vs. Mike Minor
Mike Minor
Braves
1-2 W-L 3-3
7.36 ERA 4.17
12 SO 30
13 BB 7
3 HR 7
vs. Atl -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Casey Coleman 2-5 13 10 0 0 0 0 46.0 64 39 38 5 30 35 7.43 2.04


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Mike Minor 3-2 9 9 0 0 0 0 50.2 58 24 24 0 19 46 4.26 1.52

Casey Coleman has never faced the Braves, and has seen only two players on their team (Michael Bourn, 2-for-2, and Dan Uggla, 0-for-2). This could be good, or not. These days, who knows?

Mike Minor was the starting and winning pitcher in the only game the Braves won in the recent series in Atlanta on August 12. He gave the Cubs nine hits in 5.2 innings, but only three runs. This is starting to sound awfully familiar.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago and FSN South. Outside Chicago and Atlanta, the game can be seen on MLB Network. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Braves site Talking Chop.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 7:05 p.m. CDT and the overflow threads will post at 8 pm, 9 pm and 9:45 pm CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.