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Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers Preview, Monday 8/27, 7:05 CT

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Let's talk attendance, shall we?

Yes, I know. I've done this before. But my interest was piqued again by this New York Times article, which begins this way:

The first-place White Sox, in the thick of a pennant race, hosted the Seattle Mariners at U.S. Cellular Field on Saturday on a gorgeous 86-degree evening. A crowd announced at 27,562 was on hand as the home team won, 5-4. Earlier in the day, eight miles north at Wrigley Field, a crowd announced as 35,296 watched the fifth-place Cubs lose to the equally bad Colorado Rockies.

Ben Struass, the writer, should know better, especially being from New York, where the Mets often draw announced crowds that are much larger than those actually in the stadium. The 27,562 announced at the Cell was probably pretty close to the actual number of people in the house. My estimate of in-the-house for the Cubs game was 29,000 -- more than the Sox game, but still about 6,000 below the tickets-sold figure, which is in line with most of the estimates I've made this year.

The point of this is to note how in-game attendance at Cubs games this year isn't close to being in line with the announced figures. Speaking of which, the Cubs have now announced 2,241,927 tickets sold over 61 dates: 36,752 per date. If they continue at that figure (which is continuing to drop) the total for the season would be 2,976,912. They'll need to average 37,904 per date for the remaining 20 dates to get to three million.

It says here they won't make it, and will sell fewer than three million tickets for the first time since 2003. And yes, it matters.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus RF, Vitters 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Castro SS, Clevenger C, Jackson CF, Barney 2B, Germano P

Brewers lineup:

Aoki RF, Weeks 2B, Braun LF, Ramirez 3B, Hart 1B, Lucroy C, Gomez CF, Segura SS, Estrada p
Today's Starting Pitchers
Justin Germano
Justin Germano
Cubs
vs. Marco Estrada
Marco Estrada
Brewers
2-3 W-L 1-5
5.40 ERA 4.23
18 SO 96
6 BB 20
3 HR 16
vs. Mil -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Justin Germano 2-3 6 5 0 0 0 0 30.0 32 20 18 3 6 18 5.40 1.27


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Marco Estrada 1-5 22 16 0 0 0 0 95.2 93 47 45 16 20 96 4.23 1.18

Justin Germano pitched, and poorly, against the Brewers last Monday in Milwaukee. Jonathan Lucroy smashed a monstrous home run off him; Germano wound up giving up eight hits and seven earned runs, his worst start as a Cub. Doomed? Almost certainly.

Marco Estrada threw seven shutout innings against the Cubs last Tuesday in Milwaukee. He struck out nine. He walked just one, and allowed one single and one double. This is about the clearest case of doom I've ever seen.

Today's game is on WCIU. There's only one more of these this year (September 11).

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 Brewers site Brew Crew Ball. The usual caution is advised.

Today's first pitch thread will post at 7:05 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 8:05, 9:05 and 9:50 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section. Also please note: due to some under-the-hood changes, the sidebar box with the game thread links is no longer available. It seems you've found them with no problems, but if you haven't been able to find the overflow threads, click the "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" link under "Sections" on the left sidebar. They're all in there.

Discuss amongst yourselves.