two strikes against

*two strikes against

 one
1. two strikes on a baseball batter, three being the number that will put the batter "out." (Such a player is in a vulnerable position. *Typically: get ~; have ~.) Sammy has two strikes against him and might just strike out.
2. Fig. a critical number of things against one; a position wherein success is unlikely or where the success of the next move is crucial. (Fig. on {2} *Typically: get ~; have ~.) Poor Bob had two strikes against him when he tried to explain where he was last night. I can't win. I've got two strikes against me before I start.
See also: strike, two

two strikes against

Strong factors opposing, as in There are two strikes against her possibility of a promotion. This term comes from baseball, where a batter is allowed three strikes at a fairly pitched ball before being called out; thus, a batter with two strikes has but one more chance to hit a fair ball. The figurative use dates from the early 1900s.
See also: strike, two
References in periodicals archive ?
His two strikes against Queens Park Rangers took his season's total to 26 - and the 16 he has scored in the league make him the top English front man in the top flight.
They also launched two strikes against ISIS fighters around the town of Tabqa in Raqqa province, but there was no information about casualties, the Observatory said.
His name was Martino, but he changed it, believing that ethnic types had two strikes against them.
The hard work has certainly paid off, his two strikes against Lyon in the Europa League were breathtaking, as he now appears confident every time he addresses the ball.
BACK ON TOP Kelly celebrates on of two strikes against the Dons with team–mate Manuel Pascali as Langfield is dismissed (below)
The Spaniard took his tally for the season to 13 goals in 18 appearances with two strikes against Norwich yesterday and has proved one of the buys of the summer.
He had two strikes against him his Japanese ancestry and his choice of the obscure field of semantics as his specialty.
INDIANAPOLIS - As far as New England football fans are concerned, the Giants have two strikes against them.
Since he was a young boy, Sam Fuld wanted to be a big league baseball player, but he started with two strikes against him.
A woman who gets to 42 weeks' gestation who hasn't already done anything on her own already has two strikes against her; her Bishop score is 2, and a 3-day induction may not make it.
Head boy: Ciaran Clark's header beats Lukasz Fabianski for the second of his two strikes against Arsenal.
Two strikes against the woodwork and a strong penalty claim preceded the header from Manchester United teenager Wootton that levelled the scores.
In August, Maliki accused Syria of sheltering militants behind several bombings, including two strikes against government ministries that around 100 people on August 19.
But two strikes against the Herd in Hampshire during a 5-2 win, followed by another brace last night at Whitley Bay Ice Rink in the thrilling 5-4 Challenge Cup Group A victory, put Campbell back on track.