have two strikes against one

[have two strikes against one] or [have two strikes on one] {v.phr.}, {informal} To have things working against you; be hindered inseveral ways; be in a difficult situation; be unlikely to succeed.

Children from the poorest parts of a city often have two strikesagainst them before they enter school.

George has two strikesagainst him already. Everybody is against what he wants to do.

Compare: BEHIND THE EIGHT BALL. (In baseball, three strikes are out.If the umpire calls two strikes against the batter, he has only onestrike left and will be out if he gets one more strike.)