Fresh out of Tampa Alonso High School and his first professional season, Jose Fernandez watched the St. Louis Cardinals win the 2011 World Series.

Friday, he pitched against them. Whatever nervous angst he had to suppress didn’t come on the mound. It gripped him in the second inning when he stepped into the batter’s box. He peered back and saw Yadier Molina crouched behind the plate.

“I look up to that guy,” Fernandez said. “When they won the World Series I saw him catch, I was like ‘Man, I wish one day I could shake his hand.’ I told him, ‘Hey, it’s a pleasure to be playing against you.’ He said, ‘No, it’s my pleasure.’”

Molina and the Cardinals took little pleasure out of facing Fernandez. Health permitting, Fernandez on Friday recorded the first of what will be numerous double-digit strikeout games

Striking out 10 over seven innings against anybody is noteworthy. Fernandez did it against the best hitting team in the National League. A 20-year-old right-hander, Fernandez became the first pitcher this season to strike out 10 Cardinals in a game in the Marlins’ 5-4 series-opening victory.

“He set the tone against a great team and a great and a great lineup, and it was fun to watch him,” manager Mike Redmond said.

Fernandez in his 13th career start also topped the 100-pitch mark for the first time. He had totaled more than 90 on just two occasions. Sitting at 94 pitches, Fernandez went out for the seventh and retired the side in order.

Fernandez showed the 43-24 Cardinals a fastball that touched 98. The curveball he threw to retire Carlos Beltran for the third out in the seventh was 20 mph slower. All 10 of Fernandez’s strikeouts came on non-fastballs, a mix of sliders, curves and changeups.

“He has the ability to make and execute pitches like only a handful of guys I think I’ve ever seen,” Redmond said. “He gives up a few hits and then he goes, ‘That’s it. I’m done giving up hits’ and guys are really going to have to earn the rest of them. They had a few guys that battled him and had some good at-bats, but he was able to finish them and really was in complete control of that game after the first inning.”

Though his streak of allowing two runs or fewer at home ended at five games, only two of the three runs Fernandez gave up were earned. Three of the six hits off him came in the first, when Fernandez failed to throw a first-pitch strike to six of seven batters.