(Well, a brief comment. Sorry for the ugly 2003 Excel graphs, but I think the point is clear regardless of ugly graphs.)
I've been complaining a bunch about this. Glad to see other people aren't happy with the bullpen usage as well.
I guess I had the same thought as well and did something similar (also I couldn't hold back on commenting like you) but I used my Excel 2010 to make a prettier doughnut chart. http://www.crazycrabbers.com/2011/05/thoughts-gra...
I think Bochy likes him too much to use in blowouts and not enough to use him in a tight game. Affeldt's usage blows my mind.
Affeldt is still living off his 2009 season with the Giants (I like to call this the Rick Wilkins effect). Generally, I think Bochy does a pretty good job with the bullpen (a task that I actually think is overrated for the most part) but I wish he'd tone down Affedlt's IP some.
I think bullpen usage has some value, though the way modern managers handle them, with the strict roles, seriously reduces the possible value gained.
For the most part that is correct and the way the roles are set up and the fact that in general leverage increases with the inning probably accounts for that. The only real deviation is when there is a tight situation earlier in the game maybe like the 5th or 6th inning and the manager sends doesn't send out one of his better relievers even though that may end up being the biggest moment of the game. I do think that you are right on though that Bochy does show a tendency to not be as rigid in only using his closer in the 9th which makes him better then the majority of managers.
I think my one big rule for bullpen management is: don't be afraid to use your best reliever (closer, usually) in non-9th inning situations. Bochy has shown that he's not afraid to bring in Wilson for longer saves, I like that. However, I roughly looked at reliever use a year ago and found that for the most part, managers put the right guys in the right spots. http://www.baycityball.com/2010/02/27/bullpen-man... I still think it's a skill (managing the pen) that's often misinterpreted in the press.
Chris! Nice work. I was going to do almost this exactly (for Ian). Except, in words. Oh, and I was probably going to use IP versus ERA. One other idea had... it might be even better to compare ERA/FIP to batters faced, instead of IP. That'd probably do an even better job of showing how many opportunities Runzler and Affeldt, aka "The Meltdown Twins," have been given to attempt to get people out. Cue circus music.