have two strikes against one
To have things working against you; be hindered in several ways; be in a difficult situation; be unlikely to succeed.
Children from the poorest parts of a city often have two strikes against them before they enter school.
George has two strikes against 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 one strike left and will be out if he gets one more strike.)